LaRoche retired over limits on son’s time at ballpark
Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche apparently decided to retire after the team told him to limit the amount of time his 14-year-old son spent in the clubhouse with the team.
The 36-year-old LaRoche announced his retirement on Tuesday and White Sox president Ken Williams said it was because he asked LaRoche not to bring his son, Drake, to the ballpark so often, Fox Sports reported.
LaRoche walked away from a $13 million contract this season after Williams first approached him about a week ago asking him to dial back his son’s time with the team. Drake frequently tagged along with his father to work and Williams said it was too much.
“There has been no policy change with regards to allowance of kids in the clubhouse, on the field, the back fields during spring training,” Williams told Fox. “This young man that we’re talking about, Drake — everyone loves this young man. In no way do I want this to be about him.
“I asked Adam, said, ‘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.'”
Drake LaRoche is popular with the players and had his own locker in the home clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field last season. He also accompanied his father to spring training.
“Even 50 percent (of the time) is probably too much, but there’s a wide range between 0-50 percent, so I was a little surprised by the stance he took, which is unfortunate,” Williams said of LaRoche’s decision to walk away from the game. “But talk about a quality life decision, a family decision.”
LaRoche said he will speak about his decision in the near future. He himself grew up around ballparks with his father, Dave, a former major league pitcher and coach, and said he wanted his son to experience a similar environment.
Williams said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf supported the decisoin.
“Sometimes you have to make decisions in this world that are unpopular,” Williams said. “I’ve been unpopular before.”