Did Adam LaRoche really retire because the Chicago White Sox told him not to bring his son to the club house? Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the reason for Adam LaRoche’s quitting baseball was because the team’s president Ken Williams told the first basemen not to bring his son, 14-year-old Drake LaRoche, around as much.
The 2012 Gold Glove Award winner is married to his wife, Jenn, and the couple have two children, Drake, and a daughter named Montana.
He joined the White Sox in 2014 and in retiring walked away from the $13 million which he had left on his contract.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Source Told Ken Rosenthal that Executives Shouldn’t be Able to Determine Who Comes & Goes in the Club House
On his Twitter feed, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that an anonymous players’ agent told him that “rules on sons in [the] clubhouse should be determined by players, not execs.”
Meanwhile on his Facebook page, Rosenthal says that White Sox president Ken Williams said:
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 percent of the time—and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent 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?
Williams said that although children are permitted in the clubhouse, Adam was told that his son should be with the team less. He also said in regards to the slugger’s retirement, “I respect the man and his decision.”
2. Adam LaRoche Tweeted That He Was Retiring After 12 Seasons in the Majors Using the Hashtag ‘#FamilyFirst’
On the night of March 15, Adam LaRoche tweeted, Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved!” It was accompanied with the hashtag, “#FamilyFirst.” While his brother, former Blue Jay, Andy LaRoche wrote on his page:
Fox Sports reports that Adam’s team mates tried to talk him out of his decision but the first basemen was “confident” in his choice.
3. Drake Said in the Summer of 2014 That His Dad Was Teaching Him How to Play 1st Base
In the above interview, you’ll see Drake LaRoche tell an interviewer that his dad is a “smart” player. The-then 12-year-old adds that his dad has been teaching him how to play first base.
Drake regularly features on his dad’s Twitter feed with the pair often going out hunting.
4. Drake Was Referred to as the White Sox ’26th Man’ in 2015
In a feature by the Chicago Tribune in 2015, Adam said this son and daughter are in school in Kansas but are allowed to travel with the team if they bring homework with them. He also referred to his son as the White Sox’ “26th man.” Adam also told the Tribune:
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.
He added, “I’m always hitting and playing catch. I’m never just really sitting around, so that helps. I always ask them when I’m hitting, ask them if they see anything wrong, and they’ll tell me.”
A separate ESPN feature from the spring of 2015, talked about how Drake had his own locker at the White Sox’s training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Adam LaRoche said, “I love having kids around. I knew they were comfortable with it here, but this just took it to the next level. It’s pretty cool.”
While he was with the Nationals in 2013, Adam talked about his son with the Washington Post saying, “It’s like having your son and your best friend alongside you all day long, at work, which never gets to happen. I don’t know many jobs where you can bring your kid and not have to put him in daycare somewhere. It’s been awesome.”
5. Adam LaRoche Is Getting the Backing of MLB Players & Other Sports Stars
On Twitter, Adam is finding support from his fellow baseball players, as well as fans and stars from other sports, all using the “#FamilyFirst” hashtag. Here are some of the most poignant:
Adam also found support from Brewers reliever, Blain Boyer, who told Fox Sports, “I honestly think this is between good and evil. I know which side Adam lives on. I’m thankful to see the way he’s acting. It’s an unbelievable test of who he is, the husband he is, the father he is.”
In response, Ken Williams told Ken Rosenthal, “I can’t disagree with what [Blaine Boyer] said about Adam as a person. But I take exception to the ‘evil’ part.”