At least some of the impetus behind Adam LaRoche’s decision to retire appears to be the White Sox’ request that he bring his son into the clubhouse less frequently, Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports.com reports (Twitter links). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that LaRoche retired because his son wouldn’t be allowed in the clubhouse at all, but club president Kenny Williams clarified to Rosenthal that he only requested LaRoche reduce the frequency of the practice.
Meanwhile, Williams also spoke to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (Twitter links), leaving Merkin with the impression that LaRoche has signed his retirement papers but that they’ve yet to be filed with the league. Indeed, we heard yesterday that the veteran first baseman/DH was going to wait at least a few days before formalizing the decision.
In his comments to Merkin, Williams made clear that the request was “not even close to being personal,” noting that he respects LaRoche as a man and as a father. The executive also emphasized in his statement to Rosenthal that his request was not due to any direct concerns about LaRoche’s son. He explained that “there has been no policy change with regards to allowance of kids in the clubhouse, on the field, the back fields during spring training.”
Instead, per Williams, he told LaRoche: “Listen, our focus, our interest, our desire this year is to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity to focus on a daily basis on getting better. All I’m asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back.” Williams went on to tell Rosenthal: “We all think his kid is a great young man. I just felt it should not be every day, that’s all. You tell me, where in this country can you bring your child to work every day?”
Needless to say, the subject is a difficult one, and it is certainly possible to see both the team’s viewpoint and to understand LaRoche’s own decision. He has long enjoyed the chance to spend time with his son at the park, especially during Spring Training, dating back to his time with the Nationals. Notably, of course, LaRoche has not yet commented on the matter himself, and it would be wise to withhold judgment until the full story is told.
Things get more complicated when weighing the nuanced interests at play for the White Sox. LaRoche struggled mightily last year and has been limited by back issues this spring. And he’s due to earn $13MM — more than a tenth of the club’s overall payroll. While there’s still reason to believe that LaRoche can contribute at the major league level, he also doesn’t represent an appealing value at that price tag.
Speculation has already turned to what the club might do to replace the left-handed lineup production, and how it might re-allocate the dollars that were destined for LaRoche. Williams touched upon the topic in his comments to Merkin (Twitter link), saying: “We think internally we’ve got an interesting opportunity to rotate the DH position.” Among the internal options, presumably, are defensively-limited outfielders Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia. The club will look at its own players first, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago (via Twitter), but has also begun to consider external replacements.
Part of the point of LaRoche was that he could spell Abreu at first on a semi-regular basis. Don’t see how they can do that by locking Abreu in at first and using outfielders at DH, assuming it’s still a goal of theirs.
Yes, very odd. Instinct tells me something more must be in play here than his kid, we just don’t know what it is yet, and we may not ever know.
There has to be more to the story from both sides. Likely the White Sox were upset with LaRoche’s son being in the clubhouse 100% of the time, Adam having such a horrible season and it being viewed as him not focusing 100% on the job he is being paid to do.
LaRoche coming off a career worst season likely looms large as well
Somewhere…….I’d bet there’s a lawyer telling the team that “the risk outweighs the benefit”…..when it comes to having a 14 yr old in a locker room with a bunch of men (taking showers and walking around naked). Lawyers have a funny way of getting what they want, when it comes to “limiting liability exposure”…..sad, but possible
Yeah, thought about that as a reason as well. A lot of questions. My guess is those corners were raised by those new to the clubhouse to KW. It also sounds, after hearing a lot of rumored talk that KW was not really aware of the extent of LaRoche’s son hanging around the clubhouse (had his own locker for crying out loud) which I think is an indictment of the GM and manager as well for allowing this to occur in the first place.
It’s the $13M that has me thinking something else is going on. Players don’t usually leave that kind of money on the table.
LaRoche has made 72 million dollars in his career and he’s got a bad back. I’m assuming his financial situation is fine. His body may not be up to the rigors of a full season anymore.
How many kids are in the Red Sox clubhouse per day? I am all for LaRoche hanging it up if this was cool last year and all of a sudden not this year. But damn, I got sent home from work with disciplinary points after I brought my daughter to work when school was cancelled last minute due to ice.
I know it is all situational, but Williams is right, how many of us, paid way less a year get to take our kids to work any time we wish?
Every fans’ organization is so much better when the opportunity presents itself.
The majority of the people on the team have kids. No one else is retiring. There’s either more to this story or they saw his son’s 100% of the time presence as a distraction for the job he’s getting paid to do.
If your coworker brought his/her children in to work everyday, was doing a shotty job, and getting paid more than their production called for, how would you react?
My thoughts exactly. It is really sweet to hear how much LaRoche cares about his son, but at some point it is too much and you have to question how much focus is on the game (i.e. Work) when you are always with your son.
Your teams so close that they played video games while having beer and chicken during games. Great first class organization in Boston thats for sure.
Right on! Classy Organization that puts family first right there! So easy to see their family friendliness!
So..how many seasons have to pass before you will stop bringing that up? I mean this article isn’t about the Red Sox and you still squeezed it in so I am thinking a lot?
It was a reply to an ignorant post that was either deleted or removed idk
It’s too bad this site allows you to post. I read what’s available on this site and sometimes read what people post. For some odd reason you bring up the Red Sox. We get it, you don’t like the Red Sox. Unfortunately the skies the limit on your stupidity. Why don’t you start posting comments that garner conversation instead of irritation. This will most likely be my last post because I’ll probably be barred. That’s fine though because you’re an ass.
Maybe his kid is a snotty, ill behaved,disliked,arrogant, listen to no one dou che bag, just like his father. Then I could understand.
You’re talking about a fourteen year old man, also what makes you think Adam is like that? Around nova laroches kids have a far better rep than all of the other athletes children for what it’s worth.
By all accounts by the Sox and the Nats, the kid is well behaved and not a ‘snotty, ill behaved’ anything. However he was also reportedly everywhere with the team last season (season, not spring training, that includes hotel, plane, clubhouse, home and away games). Now, LaRoche may be a guy who loves his kid, and the kid may be well behaved, but it does not mean the kid should be there every moment of the season. I think the Sox have made it clear the distractions and the apparent ‘inmates running the asylum’ that occurred last season stops, and I can think of no better way of doing this, other than finally removing Robin from the manager spot, than stopping things like this from occurring.
If Justin Morneau is healthy, White Sox fill LaRoche’s void by signing him.
I have a question – If he was 13 last year & 14 this year that means 8th grade /freshman year -why isnt he in school?
did he take the whole month of march off to hang out at spring training?
Not many high schools would tolerate that.
He’s probably “Home-Schooled”
i think he’s learning disabled in some way and doesn’t attend traditional school
lol only disabled because he doesn’t go to school and hangs out in a club house all day. Kid didn’t even know who Bo Jackson was, pathetic.
How many 13-14 year olds do you think know who Bo Jackson is?
He is home schooled. The other issue is, how many other players bring their kids every day? Could get out of hand.
Michael Kay was just talking about this on the radio in New York, and he was saying the kid wasn’t in school on a regular basis, that being with him most of the time was basically the form of schooling he chose for the kid, that as long as the kid passed whatever standardized tests then he could do whatever he wanted. Also that he went to Sylvan Learning Centers sometimes to I guess catch up or to prep for the tests, and that in the offseason they live in Kansas and their that he went to school then and that the school district their was really understanding about the kid being in school for only an odd string of months. Also that LaRoche’s dad was a player too and did the same sort of thing with Adam. Kay and his co-hosts thought it was pretty ridiculous. I actually find the disrupting the work environment aspect more disturbing than the child-rearing aspect.
He’s not big on school.
There is certainly more to this.
This situation with his kid just sounds like an excuse. I’ve been to White Sox Spring Training games and practices and seen player’s kids there.
It said the policy hasn’t changed for spring training. So I take that to me spring training is fine but not during the regular season
LaRoche has his son with him every day of ST and the regular season. He did that during his time with the Nationals. That could be a problem for the team if many players did it.
Like KW said, there is kids at the park, and then there is Adam’s kid who had his own locker next to his dad.. Last I checked the Sox do not have lockers for other players kids.. It was cute until LaRoche hit .207 and only 12 homers last season (never mind the obvious lack of focus in the locker room last season). The Sox have made it clear they wanted to get players to focus on the game and not on other things. Might be hard to do that for some coaches and players new to the clubhouse when you see a 14 yr old milling about ALL the time (which is what apparently was going on all last season and this spring).
Also KW only wanted to curtail the amount of time he was there. That is all.
Combined with LaRoche’s struggles last season and the back injury maybe he just realized it is time to hang them up and spend more time with this whole family instead of just his son.
What do they say about people who live in glass houses? The Red Sox organization and your usernamesake are floor to ceiling windows.
I’m guessing LaRoche’s son was hanging out in the dugout during games and saying, “You’re gonna lose!” over-and-over before games and LaRoche took exception on one occasion when Robin Ventura was annoyed and threw a baseball glove at his so son.
MLBTR needs to add up/down votes to their comment system just so this comment can be appreciated properly. Well played!
Gotta side with the White Sox on this one. I would be annoyed beyond belief if I had coworkers constantly bringing their kids to work. Once in a while is fine, but a clubhouse is a place of business, not a daycare.
It’s impossible to know what’s really going on unless you know the people involved and their attitudes, etc. Who knows what kind of conversations they had in the past or what other issues might play into it.
That being said, I guess I kind of lean towards the team’s perspective on this one. There’s a difference between “family first” and having every day be “bring your kid to work” day. At some point it’s just unprofessional and a bit entitled, and certainly doesn’t give off the impression that someone is really giving their all to prep for success this year.
The ball player life can be tough on a family like anything that involves extensive travel — I get that — but there’s lots and lots of ballplayers that make it work. So, maybe the right decision is to retire when you’re not putting as much heart into the game as everyone else. (That’s not an accusation against LaRoche but more of an observation in general.)
I completely agree. There’s not a job in this world that would allow you to bring your kid to work everyday. We don’t know the whole story and per Williams comments he said “just pull it back a little and or not everyday” I’m sure there’s more to come out of specific details. But hey what about the guys and from different cultures, maybe they don’t want this kid around EVERYDAY and in their way or just plain out don’t like kids or this one in particular is beyond annoying. All the players are AT WORK!! Are we all completely over looking that??? They are trying to win jobs and some the difference is bus rides and crap money or jets at a half million a year in salary. So great you are making your 13 million (la roche) and are terrible. But get your damn kid out of my workplace I’m actually trying to get my job done here.
Completely appropriate by the White Sox. Although, they should have addressed this immediately in LaRoche’s first season with the team.
Agreed. The scuttlebutt is that KW did not know the extent of what was going on. Though it really does smack as to how bad of a manager Robin is to buckle under and allow the kid to have his own locker in Chicago. Either he or Hahn must have approved it. Maybe KW saw it and thought it was some kind of joke or something. But after a season where you bat .207 and hit only 12 homers my guess is any currency you had with the org is now gone.
The White Sox used to make the same demand of Ozzie Guillen. They asked him repeatedly to stop bringing Nick Swisher to the ballpark, because he was a distraction to the ballplayers.
A thousand likes. That is classic.
now THAT, was funny!
Really though, who do you want on your team? The guy with the negative WAR that can’t bear to be away from his son for a few hours each day, or the guy that left his whole family behind for a chance in MLB and gained MVP votes in each of his seasons here? (if you don’t know who i’m talking about, i’ll give you a clue. He plays the same position LaRoche did) If i had a year like Laroche did last year, i for one, wouldn’t want my kid anywhere near that display. That was a joke, don’t freak out.
Those of you trashing the Sox org for this should try bringing your 14 year old kid to work each day and see how long that lasts. “well this is totally different…” Shut up, no it’s not. And if you go on to argue that many of his teammates have hit twitter in support of the kid being there, what the hell are they supposed to say!! That the kid was in the way? or annoying?
I don’t make any assumptions on the situation. Very odd. Obviously, it’s to the point he wants to physically retire. I can’t fault him for that. This plays out like we’re going to hear more. I’m guessing if Laroche had hit .290 with 30hr last season there wouldn’t be much said. It could be that this issue with his son is only a small factor in this.
True story, when I was coaching semi-private ball…Adam LaRoche was playing 1B in the only game I managed to get ejected from. The guys I’ve been around are growing scarce.
An edit button would be nice….semi-pro
No one likes the guy who brings his kid to work no matter what job it is! Also its a guy who literally lost his team 1.4 games instead of a replacement-level player last year, maybe he should focus on his work at work and left his family at home. Having to be a parent at your day job is a huge distraction.
Negative WAR does not translate “literally” to losses.and even if it did… how can you “literally” lose 1.4 games?
One thing I don’t get about the applause LaRoche is getting — all he’s done for is son, Drake, he hasn’t done for his daughter, Montana. Keeping his son by his side 100 percent of the time and making statements like “it’s like having your best friend around all of the time” might point to impressive (if misguided) fatherly instincts, if there wasn’t a daughter he was leaving home 100% (presumably) of the time. Why does he choose to treat his children in such an unbalanced manner? And why is he lauded as such an amazing parent for doing so?
acully sort of has happened one time aj piersynski Parked in david Ortiz kids scooter spot while Eventually lead to him being traded
I truly didn’t think David Ortiz could be more of a clown than he already was, but if this is true, then yeah, David Ortiz is an even bigger clown than he already was.
Now that laroche is gone, Morneau has to be contacted. And morneau is looking to cash in.
The request by the White Sox is perfectly reasonable. The manner in which it was put forward may have been indelicate but further facts will come out eventually. LaRoche made a personal decision and the WS seem to have benefited from it. It’s a win win. LaRoche gets to focus more of his time with his son. It’s not like he can’t afford to do that. The WS can look for a better player at FAR less expense. Being a father first, when income is not an issue, would have been my preferred choice hands down. Being around my kids was a wonderful time in my life… still is. I had to work 3 jobs to make payments. It ended well but I missed some fun times.
Where in America can a father take his son or daughter to work with him every day??? Athletes are coddled and don’t have to play by the same rule & laws that the rest of society does. Bravo to the White Sox..
How is it bigpapi that every post of yours claims the Red Sox do no wrong and every other team is subpar?
Just another spoiled dumb axe athlete. Good riddance.
Well, if everyone could bring their kids to every game, the clubhouse would be more a daycare than a baseball facility.
It’s probably a fair request from the White Sox to ensure that a place of business is treated as such.
No doubt there’s more to this situation than we know, but, if Adam’s kid being around 24/7 would make or break a decision – then perhaps he is better off retiring and being home with his kid instead.
I’m just glad this bum is gone, but, where was Williams yes man manager , Ventura, with this? Pretty embarrassing. It’s as if daddy had to settle a dispute. Again, this has to be expected with his group of coaches and front office. Thanks Jer.
Shouldn’t a 14 year-old be making friends his own age and learning to deal with people his age? Isn’t that a part of growing up anymore?
Has no one mentioned that there is a very real possibility that other players made complaints to the management abut the boy being in the locker room all the time? Is it not possible that many of those players had their own children complaining to them asking why they couldn’t be in the clubhouse all day as well?
The fact that this went above the managers level, the GM’s level, and up to the Presidents level says there is much more to this story.
Chi Trib did an article about it last year. After reading this, its kind of surprising any of this is happening. Although it may be due to his performance last year also..
What a joke. One day MLBTR is talking about the swagger of the pale hose and next this crybaby is being a total distraction. A fish smells from the head down. Same old White Sox.
Where do you draw the line on this one? What if all the players that had kids brought them in the club house on a regular basis. It would look like a day care center and chaos would ensue. I agree there is much more to this story. If you look at some of the photos, young LaRoche had his own locker and a full uniform. I would say the Sox were VERY accommodating and not the villain here.
I’d say LaRoche knew this was the Swan song and wanted to make one last trip around with his son. Can’t blame him. But also can’t blame the Sox for not relegating themselves to the year long display of sentiment, when they’re trying to win.
I’m actually curious to know if this has any religious connotations. LaRoche is an avowed born again Christian and hunting friend of the Duck Dynasty people.
Some players, though, just draw the line someplace. I didn’t see the hash tag family first reference as a slap at the Sox…just a personal statement. He doesn’t need to play at this point. He can go back to KS.
Saw some discussion on Drake’s being home schooled. Money will never be an issue for him anyway.
I can’t believe how awesome this is!
This is a blessing!. I wished we could have figured this out last year. Use the money to find a #4 and #5 starter. We have seen more of LaRoche’s kid in Spring Training than Mat Latos.
Does Johnny Dank’s have a kid? Just asking!
good one about Danks.
The sun will stop shinning and these soxs will lose their value
White Sox dodged a huge bullet. LaRoche is obviously done. Having a teen out of school like that is crazy, I’d expect nothing less from friends of Duck Dynasty friends
I have never understood the high regard Kenny Williams has in the league until now. A creative way to lose a super bad contract. . I hope Kenny does not throw the savings away on Justin Morneau or another washed up player.
So now the real truth comes out, day later? Williams figures out he has a bad contract (no surprise.. he gave it of course) and LaRoche) is a family man.. This is Chicago, where one can get away with any policy of the left.. Let’s stop this ardent family man from bringing his kid’s to the clubhouse!! That will probably make him act!
Williams is another of the guys who ought to be canned from the game, just like that useless manager the ChiSox manager (and scapegoat of his) manager they ran out of town several years back. Poor deals, poor contracts and knows nothing of the game. Takes the one, single player with character on the team that has any morals and runs him out… The chicago way thru and thru..
Time for another 1871 in chicago…
While I believe their is more to the story, I can understand where the White Sox are coming from.
Their is almost no work environment where you can bring your kid to work 100% of the time.
A lot of organizations in baseball and other sports love kids with the team, but even they have a limit on them. If the kid really is in the clubhouse 100% of the time like he is a player or employee of the team, then I can see where the White Sox are coming from and that is too much in my mind.
I’m a Rangers fan and they have a great policy for kids, but even their policy wouldn’t allow kids in the cloubhouse 100% of the time. I know Beltre plays catch and does batting practice with his kid, but he doesn’t bring him into the clubhouse 100% of the time. Choo and Fielder do the same thing for the Rangers, they also know that they can’t bring their kids into the cloubhouse 100% of the time. Their is a point where this is a job for all these people, and at every job their is a limit.
I think there is more, but much of it is more speculation than confirmation I think at this point.
The kid may be well behaved (according to reports) but the kid was there during the most of the regular season for home AND away games, meaning a 13-14 yr old loitering about in the locker room, in the hotel, on the plane, etc. He has his own locker in the home locker room for crying out loud. What is a shame is that KW apparently did not realize the scope of this until 10 days ago (according to rumors). With the ‘ho hum’ attitude last season the clubhouse (which I blame more on the manager than players), the Sox made it clear they needed to get these guys focused on the game. Kind of hard when a 13-now 14- year old is milling about EVERYWHERE. Also I’m guessing that legal teams and new players and coaches took exception to a 14 yr old running around a room where guys could be walking out of the shower naked.
Finally, maybe LaRoche, who struggled mightily last season and had a back injury this spring, realized that may be it is time to hang them up and spent time with his whole family and not just his son.
Some players might be stronger,faster but they don’t have an ounce of COMMON SENSE! Especially the ones that support LaRoche.
LaRouche is not a team player. He cares about himself. Good riddance