This has been a hectic week in the world of baseball as we are getting ready for Opening Day. And it got even crazier when Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche announced his retirement from baseball and walked away from the $13 million contract that he was guaranteed this coming season. His reason?
Because White Sox president Ken Williams told he couldn’t bring his 14-year-old son into the clubhouse.
Drake LaRoche has always been an integral part of the clubhouse as he traveled with his father for several seasons now. Even LaRoche describes his son as the team’s “26th man”.
So why did the White Sox organization ask LaRoche to not bring his son into the clubhouse?
According to an interview Ken Rosenthal did with president Ken Williams, this is what Williams 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."
If you only read this part, the White Sox seem like the bad guys…right?
But wait for it. President Williams went on to say,
"I don't think he should be here 100 percent of the time - and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don't even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between."
WHAT? 100% OF THE TIME? Now that just changed the entire story.
Here is my take on the story.
I don’t think there is a single job in this world that allows you to bring your kid everyday...like 100% everyday. I am sure the core of the problem is not with the kid himself. He’s probably a great kid. But you just can’t have your kid at your workplace everyday.
One of the best things in sports in the friendship fathers and sons build together. The best memories I have with my father is being able to play catch with him out in the park on a sunny day. But when it comes to work, there needs to be a clear distinction. You have to think about your teammates. You have to think about why you started playing in the first place. There is so much more to this than building memories with your kid.