By now you have definitely heard that Adam LaRoche walked away from a contract with the Chicago White Sox that would have paid him $13 million because General Manager Ken Williams asked that LaRoche’s 14-year-old son, Drake, not be brought into the clubhouse every day. The media was quick to label LaRoche as a fantastic person and a hero, while calling Williams a literal villain. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are no heroes or villains in this story. Instead, every person involved in this is just plain wrong.
Adam LaRoche is not a hero for retiring to be with his son. If anything, he actually displayed horrible parenting skills. Instead of telling Drake he can’t be in the clubhouse every day, Adam LaRoche quit because he didn’t get his way. What kind of example is that for his son? To quit because he didn’t get everything he wanted? Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that Adam loves his son and wants to spend time with him, but he handled this whole situation terribly.
Also, how does LaRoche not know that a Major League clubhouse is no place for a young kid? Players feel like they can’t be themselves and they really have to watch their actions at all times which creates an awkward, artificial feel in the clubhouse. If the kid wants to come by every now and then, that is completely ok. But a kid being in a clubhouse every single day, including road trips, for years? That’s just idiotic.
The front office should not set the tone for the locker room. Instead of confronting Adam, multiple players on the team decided to run to GM Ken Williams and ask him to handle the situation. Williams should have told his players that it’s their job to set the clubhouse rules, not the front office.
However, my biggest beef here is with All-Star pitcher Chris Sale and starting outfielder Adam Eaton. They really blew this whole scenario out of the water. Sale reportedly got into a screaming match with Williams and Eaton told the media that they lost “a leader” in Drake LaRoche. Really? You lost a leader in a 14-year-old boy? If a teenager is the leader for a Major League Baseball team, that speaks volumes of how poorly that organization is run. Also, they really exposed their manager, Robin Ventura. Going on these rampages shows that Ventura has absolutely no control over the clubhouse and likely puts him back on the hot-seat.
If you’re a White Sox fan, sorry. If you aren’t, sit back and enjoy what will be an interesting season.