Major League baseball journeyman Adam LaRoche announced his retirement from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, due to an issue with a team policy. The policy in question limited the amount of time his 14-year-old son Drake could spend with the team.
LaRoche, 36, announced his retirement on twitter tweeting “Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved! #FamilyFirst”
When the reasoning for LaRoche’s retirement became public team President Ken Williams addressed the issue saying the following: “There has been no policy change with regards to allowance of kids in the clubhouse, on the field, the back fields during spring training,” Williams told Fox Sports. “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?”
LaRoche is well known for being very close to his son, saying in a 2013 story with The Washington Post, “It’s like having your son and your best friend alongside you all day long, at work, which never gets to happen,” LaRoche said. “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.”
There has been an outpouring of support for LaRoche, from fellow baseball players in Bryce Harper and Chipper Jones, to football players such as Kyle Long, The hashtag “FamilyFirst” was trending nationwide shortly after LaRoche tweeted his initial tweet.
LaRoche retiring opens a hole in the DH position, a hole Williams plans to fill from within saying “We think internally we’ve got an interesting opportunity to rotate the DH position, but Rick and the guys are still compiling lists and talking with scouts, and then will be able to put something in front of us at some point to discuss.”