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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

Adam LaRoche reportedly retired after White Sox forbid son from clubhouse

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On Tuesday, Adam LaRoche announced that he was stepping away from baseball for personal reasons. It turns out there is much more to the story.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, LaRoche retired because the White Sox asked him to stop bringing his 14-year-old son into the clubhouse every day.

White Sox president Ken Williams defended the team’s position to Rosenthal, saying that Drake LaRoche wasn’t banned from the clubhouse, but the team simply asked LaRoche to tone it down:

Just talked to #White Sox president Ken Williams. Here is what he told me about LaRoche:"There has been no policy…

Posted by Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Beyond the comments of reliever Blaine Boyer, at least one prominent player – and a former teammate of LaRoche’s – is taking his side in the story.

At first glance, this is a bad look for the White Sox, because it looks like the team is basically trying to push someone’s kid out of the clubhouse. That said, this Chicago Tribune profile of LaRoche’s relationship with his son from June 2015 readily points out that the arrangement – a player’s son in the clubhouse one hundred percent of the time, even on road trips – was very unusual and rare in baseball circles, and many other organizations would probably balk at it. Did someone in the clubhouse complain to management? Did the White Sox think that Drake LaRoche’s presence was a distraction that was causing problems from a baseball perspective? Did the White Sox deliver an ultimatum with the thought of getting out from under the $13 million they would have owed LaRoche in 2016? Who knows.

What is strange is the timing, however. This arrangement existed throughout the entire 2015 season, and if Chicago didn’t like it, they could have said something during the offseason instead of waiting until the middle of spring training to address it. Perhaps something changed from their standpoint in the interim.

At the end of the day, though, LaRoche decided that his family time is more important than baseball and the paycheck that comes with it, and good on him for that.

Drake LaRoche was in spring camp with the team in 2015 as well, and got a nice little history lesson from Bo Jackson.

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