No One Is Wrong About Adam LaRoche

Don’t lose sight of the fact that the biggest story in baseball right now could have been the smallest. Adam LaRoche up and retired because the White Sox wanted to cut down on his son’s presence around the clubhouse. I’m sure you’ve already read all about this, but Drake LaRoche has a history of being around all the time, going back to when Adam was with the Nationals. The White Sox requested that Drake not be around so much, and they probably didn’t anticipate that LaRoche would walk away from thirteen million dollars. This could’ve all stayed behind closed doors, and we never would’ve known, but it’s a story because it’s been blown up to the greatest possible magnitude. The regular season is right around the corner, but this is what matters today.

The story presents with two sides, so it’s only natural to want to pick a favorite one. It’s no different from when people want to figure out the winner of any trade. On one side, there’s the organization, that says it wants to do what it can to keep the team focused and disciplined. On the other side, there’s LaRoche, who obviously cares enough about this to willingly forfeit an absurd amount of money, not to mention the rest of his career. Ultimately, this is a clubhouse matter, and barely public, so we’ll never be sufficiently informed. Yet based on what’s knowable, it’s challenging to arrive at any conclusion other than “well I’ll be damned.”

I think a big reason this is so fascinating is because it gives us a glimpse into something we’ve seldom ever thought about. So much of our time is spent watching games or thinking about players or transactions, and we don’t think much about family. We don’t think much about children who hang around the players. They’ve been doing it forever, with different rules in different clubhouses, but generally we stop thinking at “how cute!” It’s something different to talk about, but with this particular conflict, it’s just not about Drake LaRoche’s schooling. There is a conversation to be had about whether it’s good for a teenager to spend so much time in a big-league clubhouse, but that’s separate.

What’s relevant here: The precedent is for Adam LaRoche to be accompanied by his son almost literally every day. According to several reports, LaRoche and the White Sox agreed to some sort of understanding on this when LaRoche signed over a year ago. Now the White Sox, represented by Kenny Williams, have asked for a reduction. Not an elimination, but a significant reduction. The team, you figure, has its reasons. But the priorities for LaRoche and Williams simply aren’t aligned.

If you’re Adam LaRoche, you’re taken aback by the request. There’s no other way to explain his suddenly retiring. No matter how you feel about the bond between Adam and Drake, the older LaRoche grew accustomed to certain circumstances, and his joining the White Sox in the first place was allegedly in part conditional on Drake being able to hang out. And nothing went wrong, publicly, in 2015. Drake was around. It was business as usual. This would feel like the White Sox backing out of a promise, and that makes for a less comfortable workplace.

Think about what it means to give up $13 million. Of course, it wasn’t going to be LaRoche’s first $13 million. And he could’ve seen he was looking at limited playing time ahead. But there would’ve been two driving factors — love for his family, and an unwillingness to continue playing for the team. If there’s one thing that absolutely cannot be argued, it’s that Adam LaRoche is bold. He made one of those decisions that’s impossible to imagine having to make.

LaRoche sacrificed money for family. We might not need to go any deeper, and it’s plainly noble. Everyone can get behind someone who gave something up for family. You can see this in the public response, and you can also see this in the industry response — LaRoche has gotten plenty of support from teammates and peers. When one side is noble, the other side is going to look worse. It’s not hard to spin the White Sox’s position as one trying to separate a son from his father. What we can say, at least, is the White Sox are acting rationally. Rational action isn’t always warm and fuzzy, but it’s defensible. The team does have a leg to stand on.

Which isn’t to suggest they approached everything right. Indeed, for LaRoche to respond how he has, it would appear the message was delivered with little consideration for tact. Kenny Williams did the delivering, and according to a Ken Rosenthal source, Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura weren’t thrilled with how Williams was handling things. Maybe this was phrased as a demand. Maybe it was brought up out of nowhere. Williams probably could’ve attempted a softer landing, to try to get LaRoche to see things his way.

Williams says there’s been no change to the team policy. Whatever that means, it doesn’t matter, because there was clearly a change to the team Drake LaRoche policy, relative to last season. Why only bring this up now, in the middle of spring training? Why not, say, two or three months ago? I agree with Craig Calcaterra that something seems odd, and I agree that this is compelling:

We’ve heard about the players who supported LaRoche, but it’s unlikely they all liked having a teenager around all the time. It’s also unlikely those players would want to call attention to themselves, as opposed to acting anonymously. What I think makes the most sense is that Williams received enough complaints to act, and he took the brunt of it, because he’s just an executive who spends little time in the clubhouse or the dugout. Nothing gets pinned on any players, and nothing gets pinned on any coaches. Williams went into this knowing it would make people upset, but that’s damage he was willing to accept.

It’s not that LaRoche didn’t care about the team, but his priorities would’ve been split between the team and his family. And it’s not like the White Sox don’t care at all about the players or their families, but they need to run things team-first. If there was concern Drake LaRoche’s presence could be bad for the clubhouse dynamic, then that would be something for the White Sox to act on, because they want for the team to win as many games as possible. They presumably see this as a temporary disruption. The alternative could’ve been more long-lasting.

To what extent a 14-year-old could be disruptive, I don’t know, and this is all beyond the limits of my knowledge. And if the White Sox did have a verbal agreement upon LaRoche’s signing that Drake could hang around, this is obviously a bad look. But if there were players who complained — and I have to think there were — then Williams would’ve been put in an awful situation. He could upset one group of players, or he could upset another.

There’s no sense beating around the bush. The calculus has changed, since LaRoche had a lousy 2015. If LaRoche were more productive, he’d be more highly valued, and the White Sox would be more likely to side with him. But, let’s face it: If LaRoche were a free agent this winter, the White Sox wouldn’t have signed him for a year and $13 million. This is the cold side of the game, but aligning with LaRoche was perhaps no longer in the White Sox’s best interests. He wasn’t lined up to be a critical contributor. I doubt the team thought LaRoche would respond by just leaving, but after the dust settles, Rick Hahn is going to have new flexibility to land a more valuable player. And the clubhouse is likely to adapt and move on, with the season still two weeks away.

If players weren’t actually complaining about Drake, this looks a lot worse from the team’s side. Then the best-case scenario would be that Williams was trying to force LaRoche into retirement. That can’t be totally ruled out, not from here. But assuming Drake wasn’t universally embraced, then the worst that could be said is that Williams did a lousy job of communicating a justifiable request. He had his angle, and LaRoche obviously had his. And LaRoche, in the end, made one hell of a decision, and he can be proud of that for the rest of his life. LaRoche, I’m sure, didn’t expect for things to come to this. And I never expected this to be something I’d ever write about. It’s true what they say. You really can’t predict baseball.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Brian Reinhart
Member
Member
2 months 10 days ago

I didn’t really appreciate how weird this situation was – or how accommodating the White Sox were for so long – until I saw that Drake had his own locker, the same size and issue as his dad’s.

This will come across as get-off-my-lawn, but if I were a baseball player I’d be pretty annoyed to have a kid with his own equal share of space in my clubhouse every damn day.

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member
2 months 10 days ago

To clarify, that’s not a spring training locker, that’s in Chicago. http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/the-laroche-father-son-locker-setup-in-the-soxs-c/

Jeff Luhnow
Member
Jeff Luhnow
2 months 9 days ago

All I got from Daddy is this lousy Disco Demolition t-shirt ;)

Jeff Luhnow
Member
Jeff Luhnow
2 months 9 days ago

:(

U can see I’m an emotional basket case :(

Paul22
Member
Paul22
2 months 10 days ago

Heck, all these players are kids, Drake is just a younger kid. Its not like players don’t get annoyed with reporters or even other players. Thats part of the game. During the season they don’t spend much time in the clubhouse anyways, just a couple of hours most days I think. Also, judging by the reaction from some teammates, it does not seem he was a problem

Presumably he does not go on the road during the regular season since some of the clubhouses on the road are on the small side, and the plane and buses means a lot more time with him

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000
2 months 10 days ago

Nope… he’s been there 100% of the time.

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000
2 months 6 days ago

I’ve now heard about 120 games a year.

Dock Ellis
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Dock Ellis
2 months 10 days ago

That is a tad weird to be honest.

Weston Taylor
Member
Weston Taylor
2 months 10 days ago

Of course. Think about having to watch your language all the time as well because there’s a child in the room. Adult humor, being a guy, and appreciating coming to work to be free goes out the window with a kid there all the time. No thanks.

Rational Fan
Member
Rational Fan
2 months 10 days ago

I would argue that Adam LaRoche is most definitely wrong in this situation.

This is a job in which you are paid millions. He did not perform; asking him to focus on his job, and leave the kid at home more often is not a crazy request.

Most people in America can’t bring their kid to work everyday.

It wasn’t written in the contract for a reason, and last year they allowed it to take place regularly and the team fell on their face and LaRoche wasn’t worth a dollar of which he was paid. Asking him to focus more on the task at hand this year, in a billion dollar business, is more than reasonable.

Perks are given to those who perform well in all workplaces, and even still then bringing your kid to work everyday isn’t allowed.

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000
2 months 10 days ago

I’ve been kind of curious to see how Sox fans would react to this. Most of my fellow Cubs fans have taken LaRoche’s side and have had colorful remarks in describing the way the Sox handled this. The one Sox fan I have talked to not only thinks LaRoche is being ridiculous, he also feels Sale should be punished for the way he talked to Kenny. Personally, I feel the Sox were reasonable, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the problem arose from a communication breakdown.

Rational Fan
Member
Rational Fan
2 months 10 days ago

Sale most definitely shouldn’t be punished.

Sale is simply doing his job as the leader and best player on the team – he is defending his guys, which is part of his job. I think Kenny understands that, and I think Kenny intentionally was the one to break the news so that Hahn and Ventura could remain in a positive light with the players. I am not a fan of Williams, but in this case he is in the right and he handled it well.

I honestly have no clue how anyone rational could argue that the White Sox asking a player to not have his kid be around 100% of the season is in the wrong. This is job, it’s not play time. A MLB clubhouse is no place for a kid 24/7.

What’s hilarious is Bobby Cox had a strict NO KID EVER policy – my how the game has changed.

Having your kid around from time to time is fine, but daughters and wives wouldn’t be allowed in a clubhouse 24/7 so tell me why a teenage boy gets special treatment. The kid had his own locker, and took up the same amount of space as the guys actually on the team.

The White Sox were well within their rights to ask the guy to focus on baseball, and certainly were well within their rights to ask him to cut back on the kid being around the team. I’m sure my father would have liked to take me on countless business trips as a kid, but it wasn’t allowed because he was paid to do a job, not watch me.

Adam Dunn
Member
Adam Dunn
2 months 10 days ago

But doesn’t the fact (if it is indeed a fact) that there was an agreement between LaRoche and the club take precedence? I won’t argue that it’s an odd situation to have the kid in the clubhouse all the time, but if that was a condition upon which LaRoche made his decision to sign with the club I think all other arguments are moot. The White Sox should very likely never have agreed to this in the first place, but the criticisms levied against LaRoche for wanting his son in the clubhouse should equally be held against the White Sox as they were an active party in creating the situation. I will say that Williams was well within his rights to ask LaRoche to dial it back, but I believe LaRoche was equally within his rights to say “no.”

But aside from all that, it’s still weird to have your teenage son come to work with you everyday.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 9 days ago

But doesn’t the fact (if it is indeed a fact) that there was an agreement between LaRoche and the club take precedence?

Not without it being in his contract. Even if there was some kind of verbal agreement, if major league players did come forward and ask that a change be made then the GM needed to take action. A lot of things are permissible until they start affecting performance.

ironfireman
Member
ironfireman
2 months 9 days ago

Yeah I’d pin this on LaRouche. He’s coming off a terrible year at age 36. Now he’s on the DL with a bad back.
When your team underperforms and part of that is on you, because you were one of the worst players in the league, the rules change. That’s life. “Coffee is for closers!”
Lucky for MLB players their contracts are guaranteed or this wouldn’t be a news item. Laroche would get cut and

Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
Member
Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
2 months 9 days ago

Lindon needle Selah audience events. It will be a terrible year for 36 years. Now ill with back pain.
When your team is not enough and it is for you because you are one of the worst players in the league, the rules change. That’s life. “Coffee is the one!”
Fortunately guarantee agreement or MLB players will not be news. It is interesting to stop and

jdr
Member
jdr
2 months 10 days ago

It’s mysterious to me why this is seems mysterious to so many people. The simplest explanation is very likely the correct one – some players were uncomfortable with a kid being in the clubhouse all the time, or sick of it, or wondered why they couldn’t bring their kids along and only LaRoche is allowed. They went to management to complain. Williams then asked LaRoche to stop/heavily reduce the amount of time his kid was there (apparently Williams asked that LaRoche’s kid be in the clubhouse “under 50%” of the time). LaRoche then decided to quit.

To be completely straight, we don’t even have compelling evidence that Williams even was brusque or demanding about it. What we have are a few ticked off players, which logic would dictate are those who are either LaRoche’s friends or were close to his kid. They are going to be mad if the kid was asked to go away regardless of whether it was delivered nicely or not, so I don’t know how much we can read into their being upset.

As to why Williams instead of the manager or anyone else, that’s an easy answer: Williams has been with the team since 1992. He was GM when they won the World Series. He’s bulletproof. Better him than the manager, who the players have to interact with on a constant basis every day.

Andy
Member
Member
Andy
2 months 9 days ago

point #1 “yeah, we don’t mind if your kid hangs around, will you sign the contract?”
point #2 can’t wait to see who’s kid is in the dugout now
both points total speculation

MLB Rainmaker
Member
Member
MLB Rainmaker
2 months 10 days ago

The difficulty in assessing these sorts of situations with baseball players is that we often assume a baseball player is an educated, reasoned, mature adult capable of at once understanding the concepts of personal responsibility, mutual respect and professionalism. Unfortunately, more than often than not with professional athletes, none of that is true.

More than any other well paid group (actors, musicians,etc), pro athletes tend to be lacking in basic life skills and maturity. For a star athlete, they begin being coddled as early as junior high, with special treatment from teachers, help with their homework, money from scouts/agents/schools, the occasional hall pass from authority figures for DUI or drugs, and so on, until they get drafted. Then they get an obscene amount of money at a young age, a host of surrogate families to help feed and clothe them, all for the sole purpose of making them a baseball player versus a functioning member of society. They don’t worry about paying their bills or doing their taxes or washing their clothes…..someone does all of that for them. All of which leads to a special breed of entitlement, where players are simultaneously unaware of the real world yet supremely confident in their often ignorant view of the world.

Of course there are exceptions and its a sweeping generalization, but its just to say that all of the player reactions, including LaRoche’s, need to be viewed through the lens that at some level these guys are all overgrown children. For 99% of us, if our workplace puts in a legal, ethical policy, we follow it, end of story. We’d never thinks its OK for a co-worker to bring their kids to work every single day, let alone in a job requiring 70-90 flights/year.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 10 days ago

Actually actors/musicians are just as bad. More so, as they get rewarded for it. Celebrity fans just LOVE! it when the celebrities they’re fascinated with misbehave. Heck, sometimes agents will make up such stories.

KCDaveInLA
Member
KCDaveInLA
2 months 10 days ago

Bryce Harper seems to think that LaRoche was on point…https://twitter.com/Bharper3407/status/710186474663235584…he’s definitely trending as anti-establishment.

Like with most stories, there is surely a lot more to this that we’re not hearing. Kenny Williams might just be a grump who hates kids, but on the other hand, some kids can be a pain in the ass. Anyhow, I’m sure the White Sox will take the trade off of not paying $13 million for sub-replacement level DH.

Jon L.
Member
2 months 9 days ago

Well of course Bryce Harper believes teenagers belong in big-league clubhouses.

wmossor6
Member
wmossor6
2 months 10 days ago

I think this article is spot on. As fans, we may never know the whole story. Truthfully, both sides could be right and justified.

If Adam is comfortable, and wants to leave that money on the table by retiring, than good for him.

machetko
Member
machetko
2 months 10 days ago

*Noble*? How do you figure? Noble is giving up something important so that someone else can benefit, like Bruce Willis in Armageddon or that time I let my girlfriend drink the last beer. Laroche is good on the giving up front ($13m) but who is that other person benefitting? Drake from getting to spend even more time with his nutjob father? At 14, he’s not even going to want that much longer, or shouldn’t.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 10 days ago

You let your girlfriend drink the last beer?!?!? You azzhole, now all our girlfriends will be expecting that. :-(((

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member
2 months 10 days ago

I like how it was only one time.

Lucian
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Member
Lucian
2 months 10 days ago

I love your examples of nobility.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 10 days ago

I let your girlfriend drink the last beer, too.

Tooele Dave
Member
Member
Tooele Dave
2 months 9 days ago

My heart wants to side with LaRoche, but rationally I think he’s expecting too much. I think his decision would be more “noble” if he was barely getting by and living paycheck to paycheck. Having financial security makes his “nobility” a little easier and, perhaps, not quite as noble.

It seems a little unusual that a 14-year old would want to spend this much time around any one individual – even his own father. But I am a Plant Manager and not a childhood development specialist.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 6 days ago

He’s hanging out with the whole team, by all accounts. That’s how it was with the Nats, too.

If you were 14, and had the opportunity to chill with MLB players all the time for half the year, would you NOT be thrilled?

Paul22
Member
Paul22
2 months 10 days ago

There is no right and wrong here, unless the team and Laroche had a verbal agreement as has been reported elsewhere.

Laroche chose between his kid having some access and 13 million and no access and 0 dollars. End of career as well, so no access, ever again, anywhere. Poor Drake.

Not sure the kid had a say in this. Of course at that age I would pay to be free of my old man (not that he was around much having to work a real job). Thats true of many kids that age. Of course his Dads a lot richer than most. But now him and Dad, together, all the time, and no baseball as a reward for all that time. Might even have to go back to school. Its not going to go as well as he thinks.

Hopefully Laroche is smart enough to know walking away was like a big fat present to the team after his dismal performance last year. Rewarding the team for limiting his kids access and paying them 13 million to give them what they wanted (no Drake)

As for the team, could they have been hoping Laroche would walk? It seems hard to imagine a player would react like that. But they know him pretty well

Bat
Member
Bat
2 months 10 days ago

I agree Paul22 – and this sentence in the article struck me as odd as well:

And LaRoche, in the end, made one hell of a decision, and he can be proud of that for the rest of his life.

Why should one child of a player have his own locker and always be in the locker room? And because Adam LaRoche quit because his kid wasn’t entitled to special treatment this means that he should be “proud” of this?

I can’t see – I honestly can’t – how anyone thinks that LaRoche is in the right here or that he should be “proud” of quitting because his son wasn’t entitled to special treatment vis-a-vis any other players’ child. Adam LaRoche is basically acting like a baby and throwing a temper tantrum and quitting because he wasn’t allowed to get his way and have his son in the clubhouse 100% of the time. This is noble? He should be proud of this?

Why should his son be in the clubhouse 100% of the time? He isn’t (a) a player; (b) team management; or (c) a clubhouse attendant. For what possible reason should Kenny Williams, Hahn, and Ventura allowed Drake LaRoche to have his own locker and be in the locker room 100% of the time?

Kids of players want to come into the locker room once in awhile and see where Dad works and gets some balls or bats or photos signed, no problem. Kids – and their dads – want them to be in the clubhouse 100% of the time? Not appropriate.

MLB Rainmaker
Member
Member
MLB Rainmaker
2 months 10 days ago

If this is what LaRoche believes in, and he quits over it….then sure he can be proud he stood up for what he values. But at the same time, its probably a disservice to the kid to travel around 6 months of the year, rather than go to school, develop social skills and relationships, and live the stable home life that kids need to flourish. LaRoche had more than enough money to hang up his cleats when he left WAS, he didn’t ‘need’ to play for CHW….if he really cared so much about the kid he would have quit 2-3 years ago.

Deduno Abides
Member
Deduno Abides
2 months 10 days ago

LaRoche did not think about his kid. Drake now gets to feel responsible for his dad’s quitting his job and walking away from $13 million. Also, as Paul22 says, Drake now gets zero access. You are not doing something for your family when you give up something they love and do it in a way that makes them feel they are responsible. LaRoche must have been feeling a lot of self-pity to not be resilient enough to deal Kenny Williams ‘ message without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 10 days ago

Yeah, this is the most sensible comment thread ever.

1. Of course Williams took the hit for complaining players/coaches/manager.
2. LaRoche is one major nutjob if he thinks his kid deserves a locker. What the heck for???
3. 14 years old is too old to be hanging around a MLB lockerroom.
4. Cubs fans are actually using THIS?! in a pathetic attempt to feel superior to White Sox fans??
5. Sullivan calls this ‘nobility?’ I mean, Eno maybe, as he actually has to go into
MLB lockerrooms. Since Jeff has no such need to suck up, why is he being so stupid on this here?

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000
2 months 9 days ago

#4… I’m the only one here that mentioned being a Cubs fan and I didn’t say anything about being superior. So if you’re commenting on the thread, I’m not sure where you’re getting this… unless you’re talking about Cubs fans commenting in other places on the internet… where yeah, you’re totally going to find some meatball fans searching for the smallest thing to exploit. Sox fans do it too… that’s why people come here to get away from that.

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000
2 months 9 days ago

To be clear, just looking for clarification, not arguing.

ScottProctorTheButtDoctor
Member
ScottProctorTheButtDoctor
2 months 10 days ago

I bet the players wanted to walk around the clubhouse naked and it was weird with a 14 year old being there.

Bingo Short
Member
Member
Bingo Short
2 months 10 days ago

Or, it could be the 14 year old wanted to be naked and it was weird for the adults.

That’s unlikely, but more probable than $13 million dollars being meaningless to the LaRoche family; in other words, family and money are not exclusive to one another in the decision making process. But, I’m happy for the Sox. I wonder what other large contracts are vulnerable to petty grievances. Had they tried to make John Danks disgruntled…

Baller McCheese
Member
Baller McCheese
2 months 10 days ago

Jose Abreu had not seen his son for two full years as a result of choosing to play in the MLB. If Adam LaRoche wants to quit, he can quit. Like Abreu defecting, it’s his choice. But for LaRoche to think he’s a victim, instead of understanding the privilege he’s had, is just plain wrong.

Abreu has been on record saying: “Sometimes when I saw [Adam] LaRoche with his son, Drake, I feel jealous in a good way. I know that every father wants to be with his son, especially in this environment. I hope that sooner than later you could be talking with him here in Spanish and he’ll be here with me.”

tfil05
Member
tfil05
2 months 10 days ago

This has got to be one of the strangest ways someone has retired from baseball

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 10 days ago

This guy has got to be one of the strangest people ever to play baseball.

rosen380
Member
rosen380
2 months 9 days ago

Not even close. Granted it requires some flexibility on the word ‘retire’.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Koenecke
“After being sent home from the road trip, he caught a commercial flight for New York. During the flight, he drank a quart of whiskey and became very drunk. After harassing other passengers and striking a stewardess, the pilot had to sit on him to restrain him as he was shackled to his seat. He was removed unconscious from the flight in Detroit. After sleeping on a chair in the airport, he chartered a flight to Buffalo. While flying over Canada, he had a disagreement with the pilot and a passenger, and he attempted to take control of the aircraft. In order to avoid a crash, he was hit over the head by both the pilot (who had left his controls) and the other passenger with a fire extinguisher.[4] After an emergency landing on a racetrack, it was found that Koenecke had died of a cerebral hemorrhage.”

Adam
Member
Member
Adam
2 months 9 days ago

Also stretching the definition of retiring, the case of Cory Lidle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_New_York_City_plane_crash

vivalajeter
Member
vivalajeter
2 months 10 days ago

An aging player signed a two year deal to be a starter heading into the 2015 season. Unfortunately, he played poorly and his body started to give up on him. Instead being a role player in 2016, he decided to walk away from about $10MM to spend more time with his family, and free up payroll for his team to spend more wisely. He walked away from the game with class.

But this article isn’t about Michael Cuddyer.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 10 days ago

Many, many ‘+++++’s

frugalscott
Member
frugalscott
2 months 10 days ago

This has to be just about the most rational set of comments here in awhile. While I see the theory that there is no wrong or right here given that we don’t know and won’t know the real, full story, I do have a bit of a problem with the way LaRoche is portrayed, especially by his supporters.

There is a sense that he is fighting the good fight and standing up for family. LaRoche has a daughter who he doesn’t seem so excited to spend extra time with. There is also the idea that it might be good for Drake to be able to benefit from his mother’s influence more than five months a year. These are also legitimate family considerations. As such, it seems that LaRoche’s decision is more a reaction to simply not having his way than it is to stand for his family.

EnormousHatred
Member
EnormousHatred
2 months 10 days ago

There’s definitely a weird narrative being pushed on the LaRoche side. The way they put it, you’d think that there was no other family to be with the son and that Adam is virtuous for taking him everywhere. I even thought, “Does this kid have a disability and actually need this much attention?” It doesn’t seem that way.

budman3
Member
budman3
2 months 10 days ago

Hard to believe that LaRoche is retiring just because the club wanted to curtail his sons presence in the locker room and it seems pretty disingenuous to me. 13 million or not,it appears to me he’s tired of playing and is choosing to use this flap as a reason to leave with some sentiment on his side. Anyone really think it’s about pride and family?

If he was that upset with the clubs stance,ask for his release, leave the money on the table,and sign with another team for whatever he felt was reasonable. If you want to retire, just leave the game.There could be a lot of reasons, possibly some relating to his performance last season, his expected usage this year and how comfortable he felt with his team mates in general moving forward. If you think you still want to play the game, there were other options he could have chosen.

Interesting that LaRoche has not made one public statement about his side of the story to this point.IMO, he lost the love of the game and is using this excuse to save face and maybe garner some sympathy at the same time.

formerly matt w
Member
formerly matt w
2 months 10 days ago

All this talk about discontent about Drake in the clubhouse kind of sounds like some of the players were saying “Can LaRoche stop playing ‘Hotline Bling’ all the time?”

Hank G.
Member
Member
Hank G.
2 months 10 days ago

Some things that I thought about this:

I think I might be able to put family before money and walk away from $13 million if I had already earned $70 million.

People react more strongly to having a privilege taken away than they do to never getting the privilege in the first place.

If you sign a contract contingent on receiving some unusual benefit, get it written in the contract.

What happens when four or five players all want to have their kid around 100% of the time?

Sn0wman
Member
Sn0wman
2 months 10 days ago

My memory may well be failing me here, and my Google skills certainly are… but doesn’t Kenny Williams have a history of getting into public feuds with players?

jkdjeff
Member
jkdjeff
2 months 10 days ago

That child is going to grow up with an absolutely massive sense of entitlement.

thedonald
Member
thedonald
2 months 10 days ago

LaRoche is wrong. It’s $13 mil. Only an idiot walks from that.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
2 months 9 days ago

He’s taking a stand now, but he’s going to really regret it later. I just hope he doesn’t end up resenting Drake for it.

jcutiger
Member
jcutiger
2 months 10 days ago

LaRoche is very fortunate that he can financially walk away from $13 million for his family. Most folks can’t walk away from a job that pays $50k a year.

ginsugarland@gmail.com
Member
ginsugarland@gmail.com
2 months 10 days ago

“Why did you retire?” LaRoche “I retired on principle.”
“Why did you retire?” LaRoche “I couldn’t hit anymore, my OPS was .648.”

Hmmmm…

Hank G.
Member
Member
Hank G.
2 months 10 days ago

LaRoche is wrong. It’s $13 mil. Only an idiot walks from that.

Or, someone who can afford to.

I retired five years before the normal retirement age because I was sick of my job. Obviously, I wasn’t making sports money, but you could say that I walked away from close to $500,000. Does that make me an idiot?

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
2 months 10 days ago

I’d guess the opposite is true

jimbo22s
Member
jimbo22s
2 months 10 days ago

Another potential factor is the KW had trouble a few years ago with one of Ozzie’s kids and they ended up having to fire one of them. The LaRoche situation is different than the Guillen situation, but Williams’ patience might be a little thin on this issue and he has first hand experience for what can happen if it gets out of control.

I played on a team where a player got in the habit of having his son around and it was extremely distracting. That manager eventually had to prohibit kids, as well.

JackS
Member
JackS
2 months 10 days ago

Didn’t Kenny Williams draft his own son?

ice_hawk10
Member
ice_hawk10
2 months 10 days ago

that happens in pretty much every org

LHPSU
Member
LHPSU
2 months 10 days ago

It does, and it’s not a huge deal – guys like Alex Avila manage to earn their own way, and those who are organizational-type players are a dime a dozen.

But I won’t want to do it if I’m GM – imagine having to cut your own son. Or having your son Rule 5-ed by another team. Or you getting fired.

formerly matt w
Member
formerly matt w
2 months 9 days ago

Also, Williams’s son got drafted by the Rockies (but didn’t sign) between getting drafted by the White Sox, so there was at least a bit of legitimate baseball rationale. Out of high school the White Sox drafted him in the 36th round, then the Rockies drafted him 32nd round, then the Sox drafted him sixth round–so you could definitely argue that that was an overdraft, but he’d been seen as worthy of a late-round flyer at least.

JackS
Member
JackS
2 months 9 days ago

Yeah, I was bringing it up as more of a funny wrinkle in this (very) funny/weird story; not a dig at Williams or some kind of pertinent fact.

I like Jeff’s take on this – similar to how I’ve always felt about the majority of “clubhouse guy”/”team chemistry”/”class act”/”he’s a scumbag” stories on players and teams that are always around in sports. I don’t know any of these guys, and I feel about them personally has no bearing on what actually happens on the field or in the front office. I don’t have any prescient information about these kinds of things.

ice_hawk10
Member
ice_hawk10
2 months 10 days ago

seems like a pretty weird setup. he’s 14 and still requires a locker beside daddy in the clubhouse? you’d think that’d be an age where he’d be starting to develop his own interests and not have to live vicariously through his dad. an age at which a locker beside daddy should start to lose it’s novelty in other words. having your kid around must be cool, but although it’s not my place to say, i always wonder about kids that grow up with that kind of incredible privilege. not that he’ll ever want for anything material, but i wonder about social skills and worldview. how is he ever going to interact with regular people if the majority of his early life is spent in the company of millionaire athletes? maybe he’ll never have to i guess. it really must be hard to keep kids like that grounded and humble, but LaRoche himself doesn’t seem to think much of that concept. school? bah, far more to learn about real life in the company of guys paid totally disproportionately to their utility to society, right?

Antonio Bananas
Member
Member
Antonio Bananas
2 months 10 days ago

This will sound like a bogus story, but I knew a guy who went to high school with LaRoche’s brother. They kept in touch, a few years ago, he said “Adam wants out of baseball, but he wants to get to at least 10 years for the pension”.

I’m guessing Adam lost love of baseball long ago and was doing this for financial reasons. Between back spasms, not being good at his job, already having made 70M, already past 10 years, and this on top, he was ready to go. I doubt this was the one thing that made him retire, but it might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

That said, he’s wrong. In my opinion, disruptive kids shouldn’t even be allowed in restaurants, resorts, air planes, or other public places. Keep your shitty kids out of other people’s life.

formerly matt w
Member
formerly matt w
2 months 9 days ago

You seem nice.

Antonio Bananas
Member
Member
Antonio Bananas
2 months 7 days ago

Nice enough that if I had an annoying kid, I wouldn’t bring them in public until they could behave. No reason why everyone else’s dinner, vacation, plane trip should be horrible because you have a brat.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 6 days ago

This would work better if we had any evidence that the kid was disruptive. Nats and White Sox leaders both seemed to love him.

Smokey Rivers
Member
Smokey Rivers
2 months 10 days ago

The Warriors are playing the Spurs this Saturday.

Beer
Member
2 months 9 days ago

Will there be anyone named Drake distracting the players there?

Daniel the Maniel
Member
Daniel the Maniel
2 months 9 days ago

LaRoche’s productive days are over and he knows it. This was just a good excuse to walk away and save himself the embarrassment of being released during mid-season

bkgeneral
Member
Member
bkgeneral
2 months 9 days ago

As the father of a 15 year old, I wonder how long it will take LaRoche to resent his son? Clean your damn room Drake, I gave up $13 million for you and you can’t even put your clothes in the hamper!!!!!!!! This $13 million dollar eye roll is just for you dad

Jeff Luhnow
Member
Jeff Luhnow
2 months 9 days ago

If my #@%@#$ing son wanted to play grown up in the clubhouse, I would have @#%$@#$ing beaned him. $13 million is more than I made in my whole @#$#ing career.

Indiana Bob
Member
Indiana Bob
2 months 9 days ago

Per Chicago talk radio, some White Sox players did complain to management about Drake always being around.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
2 months 9 days ago

This just seems like the perfect situation to pick a side and then speculate wildly. As for the facts, the only things we know are that a lot of kids of players spend a lot of time at the ballpark, but LaRoche was still an outlier. Also, baseball player and office worker are just not the same thing.

What we don’t know is why and to what extent any players had a problem with the kid, how justified those problems are, or what really motivated LaRoche or Williams to do what they did.

Also, moving on from facts, LaRoche seems like a bit of a nut for thinking school isn’t important. But that’s just me; I think school is important.

JackS
Member
JackS
2 months 9 days ago

Totally agree with the first sentence here, and that’s what people are doing (not on this site it seems; but all over the board so to speak).

He might just mean school as the institution, not necessarily that “education isn’t important”.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
2 months 9 days ago

No one is wrong, unless they are not white.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 9 days ago

Since Baron Samedi is, of course, black, you have just created your very own paradox. Congratulations!

Deduno Abides
Member
Deduno Abides
2 months 9 days ago

See how you have trouble in the clubhouse when you sign Mat Latos!

Deduno Abides
Member
Deduno Abides
2 months 9 days ago

Is Chris Sale going to go around and ask all of his teammates who complained about Drake? Awkward!

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 9 days ago

Let’s just all be thankful that he’s out of baseball forever.

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