MLBer Adam LaRoche is not that good of a player at this point. But damn, he might be the most devoted dad of all time.
We all want to spend extra time with our children. But, I don’t think any of us would burn 13mill to do it. LaRoche just did, in one of the oddest baseball stories you’ll ever see.
For once, it’s not about the code. It’s about the kid. Specifically, LaRoche’s 14-year old kid who was always with his dad at the ballpark and in the clubhouse.
According to Fox Sports, White Sox team president Ken Williams told LaRoche that he should limit the amount of time his son, Drake, spent around the team. As Williams put it, “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 I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent of the time… 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?”
It’s a great question. And LaRoche responded by retiring. He basically said- if I can’t bring my kid to work every day, then I’m not coming to work. And in so doing, LaRoche walks away from the 13mill he was going to make.
I come at this as a father of two sons. I’ve brought my kids into the office. It’s an important part of the father-son bond for junior to experience how pops puts a roof over his head. But I get where the White Sox are coming from. Could be the greatest kid in the world or not – it’s still a kid hanging around a place of business all day, every day.
Bryce Harper jumped right in on twitter, propping up LaRoche for retiring and hash tagging #familyfirst. I don’t know Bryce… Then why isn’t your dad sitting at your locker after every single game? There are countless devoted family men in baseball who don’t have their teenage kid around every single day. Because their kid is probably in school. Because work gives you a break from your kid, and them a break from you.
And because whether they’d admit it or not – you know there are some of your co-workers you don’t want to be around a kid in their workspace every day.
Let’s be real – is there a more annoying day at work than “bring your kid to work day?” now imagine that’s every single day.
NFLer Kyle Long tweeted his support too, adding that he grew up in locker rooms. I get it. Dad being a pro athlete must be the coolest thing ever. You get to go in the locker room after games. Meet all the players. Maybe ride on the team plane. But I strongly doubt that Kyle was kicking it with pops and Lyle Alzado in Al Davis’ locker room every single day of training camp and all the way through the playoffs.
So I’m not vilifying the White Sox. They’re not saying keep your kid out of here. They’re saying something as reasonable as “dial it down a bit.” But I don’t blame LaRoche either. I wouldn’t walk away from work paying me that money. But if he wants to be with his kid all the time, and he’s willing to retire for it – more power to him. Doesn’t bother me.
And considering they just saved 13 mill on a 36-year old dude who hit .207 last year, I guarantee it doesn’t bother the White Sox either.
This is a no villain situation. LaRoche is crazy dedicated to his kid. The White Sox are trying to run their company. Williams is right, what other job would allow you to bring your kid to work every single day? At that time, if LaRoche is saying, kids grow up so fast, and I want to spend as much time with mine as I can, you’re preventing me from doing it, so I don’t want to work here; that’s his prerogative.
Again, I’m don’t want anyone telling me how to raise my kids, so I’m not going to tell him how to raise his.
But I can say this, I bring my kids to the office on occasion, but I would not do it every day.