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LaRoche Retires: Chicago White Sox Are Not at Fault

Brendan McLean
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Springfield College Marketing and Communications.

Hey, Adam LaRoche, take your kid and get the heck out of the locker room. The hottest story in sports, right now, has to do with Adam LaRoche and the Chicago White Sox. Long story short, LaRoche retired from Major league baseball because the White Sox told him to “tone down” the amount of time his son spends with the team.

This isn’t a column on how LaRoche should raise his son, Drake. It is his son, and he has the right to raise him the way he feels is best. I am taking the side of the Chicago White Sox on this debate however.

According to all reports, Drake LaRoche spent all of his time with the team last season. All 162 games. 81 home games and 81 road games. Team flights, dinners, and everything in between; Drake Laroche was there.

The man who runs baseball operations for the Chicago White Sox is Kenny Williams. Williams has been in power in Chicago for a very long time and has a ton of respect throughout the baseball community. Williams told LaRoche to tone down the amount of time his kid spends with the team. Most teams around the league have club house rules essentially letting players know, the families must be out an hour before first pitch.

Drake LaRoche, who is 14, had his own locker in the club house and apparently was considered part of the team. From what we know, Drake was home-schooled so he could be around the team at all times. No one from the White Sox told the kid he couldn’t come back, all they wanted was for his exposure to be limited. LaRoche couldn’t handle this and retired, clearing 13 million dollars off the White Sox books.

From everything reported, it seemed like a conversation between Williams and LaRoche. It wasn’t a demand, it wasn’t an ultimatum. The White Sox haven’t won a playoff series in 10 seasons and are trying to change the culture around the team.

If a 14 year old boy is running around the club house, some players may feel awkward listening to music with vulgarity; other players may feel weird about talking in a different language. Again, no one told the kid he couldn’t be inside the club house; the White Sox just wanted different rules to be put into place.

A lot of men and women are working while trying to raise children, why do Adam LaRoche and other baseball players feel the need to bring the kid to work every day? This is more a baseball problem than it is a kid problem. LaRoche has made well over 30 million dollars in his career and he chose to walk off into the sunset with his son.

Family over work, I think everyone can understand that. Just don’t blame the White Sox for doing what they feel is best to help them change the culture. So he retired because his kid can only come to 81 games instead of 162? A ton of baseball players have supported LaRoche and plenty of civilians have supported the White Sox. Many men and women have to balance working and raising a family. The White Sox, essentially, asked LaRoche to do the same and he retired.

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