Adam LaRoche openly criticized Chicago White Sox president for baseball operation Kenny Williams of bending and twisting the facts about his early retirement from the sport, calling the incident a matter of “trust issues.”
As reported by Chicago Tribune, LaRoche ended his baseball career after filing his retirement papers with the team and cited “fundamental disagreement” with Williams over the issue of his son’s time inside the team’s clubhouse as the factor.
LaRoche stated that Williams first told him that he could not bring his 12-year old son Drake to the team’s clubhouse and into the field anymore as opposed to the statement made by Williams wherein he stated that LaRoche could not bring in Drake on a daily basis.
It was also learned that prior to signing with the White Sox, LaRoche and team manager Robin Ventura had an “oral agreement” for the first baseman to have his son be part of the team. But Williams noted that such thing was not included in LaRoche’s contract.
“I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager (Robin Ventura), general manager (Rick Hahn) or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around,” LaRoche said.
Now the issue has reached the White Sox players and more issues are coming and they are aimed at Williams. Pitcher Chris Sale and Center Fielder Adam Eaton were visibly outspoken regarding the matter. They both stated that matters inside the clubhouse should be the major concern between the players and Ventura and nobody else.
“If we’re truly here to win a championship and come together … and win as a team, these issues don’t come up. Somebody walked out those doors the other day, and it was the wrong guy, plain and simple,” Sale explained.
Eaton for his part has been backing the decision made by LaRoche and even hinted that the issue should be looked into by the players union on whether grievances should be filed.
ESPN noted that Williams stated that there are decisions that are “unpopular” but it has to be made and also stressed that kids are still allowed in the team’s clubhouse, but not on a regular basis.
“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 explained.
Prior to his retirement, LaRoche signed a two-year contract with the White Sox worth $25 million including $25 million guaranteed and an annual average salary of $12.5 million. This year, LaRoche has a base salary of $13 million.
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