Adam LaRoche retires following dispute with White Sox president
Decision hinged on son's presence in clubhouse
When Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche abruptly announced his retirement on Tuesday for personal reasons, few people questioned his decision.
Even though LaRoche, 36, was walking away from more than $13 million US, he had been dealing with back issues and was struggling at the plate, hitting ust .207 with 12 home runs in 2015.
However, LaRoche's decision appears to have had more to do with a dispute with the team's president Ken Williams over the presence of his 14-year-old son, Drake, in the clubhouse.
Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FamilyFirst?src=hash">#FamilyFirst</a>—@e3laroche
The close relationship between LaRoche and his son is well known. The Chicago Tribune even wrote a feature last year calling Drake the team's 26th man, travelling with them on the road. He even has his own locker inside the team's clubhouse beside his dad.
The LaRoche father-son locker setup in the Sox's clubhouse at the Cell last year: <a href="https://t.co/lvyZV21YOk">pic.twitter.com/lvyZV21YOk</a>—@DannyEcker
According to multiple sources, LaRoche's decision to retire was prompted by Williams' insistence that he cut back on his son's presence.
Williams clarified his position with an appearance on Fox Sports in which he said he asked LaRoche, "To 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.
"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?"
LaRoche, himself the son of professional ball player, has fond memories of travelling with his dad and says he wants his son to have the same experiences.
"There's going to be a time coming pretty quick when [Drake and daughter Montana] are going to be out of the house, doing their own thing, and I don't want to look back and regret these years where I could have done more. I learned that from my dad," said LaRoche.
What do you think, was this a good reason for LaRoche to retire?