Chicago White Sox veteran first baseman Adam LaRoche unexpectedly announced his retirement on Tuesday, deciding to pass up the $13 million remaining on his contract.
LaRoche announced the news with a cryptic tweet, which included the hashtag #FamilyFirst.
While the news excited White Sox fans happy to get rid of a 36-year-old due $13 million, it was nevertheless a puzzling decision considering LaRoche had made the trip to spring training, only to retire shortly thereafter.
On Wednesday, Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal revealed the extremely bizarre reasoning behind LaRoche’s sudden retirement, which — among other things — sheds light to the #FamilyFirst hashtag.
According to Rosenthal, when White Sox president Ken Williams told LaRoche at spring training that he could no longer continue to bring his 14-year-old son Drake with him into the clubhouse every day, LaRoche decided to call it quits.
LaRoche’s son, Drake, 14, has travelled with him for several years. Adam, in a Chicago Tribune story last year, called him team’s “26th man.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 16, 2016
Williams provided a statement to Rosenthal over the entire incident. More than anything else, Williams sounds quite confused:
“There has been no policy change with regards to allowance of kids in the clubhouse, on the field, the back fields during spring training. 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.’
“I don’t think he should be here 100 per cent of the time – and he has been here 100 per cent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 per cent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between.
“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?”
It sounds like Drake LaRoche was indeed a fixture of MLB locker rooms.
LaRoche and his son had a conjoining locker room at the White Sox’s spring training facility, and by the looks of it the duo has already moved out:
Here’s Adam and Drake walking into White Sox facilities:
And Drake on the field with Adam in 2013 when he was with the Nationals:
It seems like a bizarre story and one we haven’t seen before in baseball. LaRoche seems happy with his decision, however, and financially, it works for the White Sox.
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