The Adam LaRoche Situation
Posted on March 21, 2016
By now everyone has read, heard and opined about Adam LaRoche’s decision to retire from baseball and to walk away from his $13 million contract with the White Sox. As an avid Nationals fan, I have always admired LaRoche, and like all Nats fans, I had gotten used to seeing his son Drake with him at all games. LaRoche is a truly dedicated and devoted father, and he views having his son with him every day to be a part of his life. When LaRoche left the Nats for the White Sox, Drake continued to accompany his dad to the clubhouse every day, until White Sox team president Kenny Williams asked LaRoche to cut back on the amount of time Drake was spending in the team clubhouse. LaRoche ignored the suggestion, so Williams upped the ante and forbade Drake to come into the clubhouse. At this point a near mutiny broke out amongst the White Sox players, with nearly all of them refusing to take the field for an upcoming spring training game. LaRoche defused the situation by abruptly deciding to retire, stating that family time was more important than his career.
I have mixed feelings about this situation. On the one hand, I heartily commend LaRoche for being such a great father. There aren’t many dads that are this dedicated, and LaRoche was blessed with having a job that allowed him to take his son to work every day. There are very few people who can say that. From what I’ve read on Twitter and other sources, LaRoche’s teammates from both the Nats and the White Sox have said that Drake assisted clubhouse personnel with menial chores and teammates loved having him around. With all that being said, I’m not sure why LaRoche couldn’t meet Williams halfway. I know that there are 162 games in the season, with half of them on the road. The average player with a family also doesn’t live in his team’s hometown, making it extremely hard to maintain a semblance of family normality. As stated earlier, LaRoche is that rare exemplar of a father, but it would seem to me that some time spent with Drake in the clubhouse would be better than no time. In any event, I wish Adam and Drake LaRoche all the best in the years ahead. Hopefully we’ll see LaRoche back in MLB as a first base coach. In my baseball fantasy world, he comes back to the Nats.