White Sox Player Ditches $13M Job for His Son
Told his 14-year-old spent too much time in clubhouse, Adam LaRoche retired
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2016 11:28 AM CDT
In this Feb. 28, 2015, file photo, Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoche, left, and his son Drake walk to the White Sox's clubhouse during a photo day before a baseball spring training workout in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(Newser) – Ken Williams, executive VP of the Chicago White Sox, says he doesn't have a problem with players' kids hanging out in the clubhouse, per the Chicago Sun-Times. But Drake LaRoche, the 14-year-old son and constant companion of first baseman Adam LaRoche, was there just a little too much for his liking—"he had a locker," Williams notes—so he asked the elder LaRoche to cut back on father-son time on White Sox premises. Instead, LaRoche abruptly announced Tuesday he'd be retiring and leaving his $13 million salary behind, the AP reports. LaRoche tweeted later that afternoon, "Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved!" accompanied by a #FamilyFirst hashtag. But Williams tells Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the team's policy on bringing kids to the clubhouse hasn't changed, that "everyone loves" Drake, and that "in no way do I want this to be about [Drake]."

Instead, Williams notes, he simply wanted LaRoche to "dial it back." "I don't think [Drake] should be here 100% of the time," he tells Rosenthal, adding to the AP, "Even 50% is probably too much, but there is a wide range between zero and 50%." But some feel that Drake, called the team's "26th man" by his dad last year, has been more blessing than burden. "Drake would clean cleats ... help out in drills ... he didn't say boo to anybody and was never a trouble in the clubhouse," White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton tells Fox. In a follow-up, Rosenthal says some players see Williams' point (e.g., players might not want a kid around if they've had a bad day or may feel compelled to censor themselves), but he wonders if Williams would have issued the mandate if LaRoche had had a better 2015 season. Meanwhile, player support for LaRoche continues, per Sports Illustrated, with Brewers pitcher Blaine Boyer telling Rosenthal, "I honestly think this is between good and evil. I know which side Adam lives on." (A bullfighter took his baby to work.)