Chicago White Sox slugger Adam LaRoche has walked away from baseball, after the team asked him to no longer bring his teenage son to work … every day.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement on Twitter earlier in the week, though he did not offer an explanation… other than a hint: “#FamilyFirst”.
By retiring, LaRoche left $13 million on the table — his salary for the season.
When news of the reason became public, team president Ken Williams told reporters that while kids are allowed in the White Sox clubhouse, they shouldn’t be there every day, adding that no job would allow that. Apparently, LaRoche’s 14-year-old son Drake is there every day, and he was asked to limit the time the teen spends with the team.
“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 signed a two-year deal with the White Sox last year for a reported $25 million.
ESPN reports that White Sox players considered boycotting the team’s spring training game on Wednesday in support of their former teammate, but manager Robin Ventura intervened and persuaded the players to play.