Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche informed the team of his intention to retire Tuesday after team vice president Ken Williams told him he couldn't bring his 14-year-old son Drake into the clubhouse, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Drake LaRoche traveled with his father for several years, as noted by Rosenthal, and his father described him in a Chicago Tribune article as the team's "26th man."
Williams disputed the report:
On Thursday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that White Sox players were so upset with Williams after the LaRoche decision that they considered a boycott.
Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, a former teammate of LaRoche's, tweeted his support:
Good for you Roche! Nothing like father and son in the clubhouse..It's a FAMILY game #FamilyFirst— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) March 16, 2016
LaRoche, 36, hit just .207 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in 127 games in 2015, spending time at first base and as a designated hitter. It was a major drop-off in production after he hit 26 homers and 92 RBI the year before with the Nationals. Going into 2014, LaRoche had hit 20 or more home runs in eight of 10 seasons.
LaRoche's decision to retire will cost him the $13 million he was due this season from the White Sox, as noted by Spotrac. Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal doesn't see much wrong with either the team's or LaRoche's stance in this case, however:
Nobody's at fault. Reasonable request by the White Sox. LaRoche values the time with his son more than the money. https://t.co/FlWyc5lWES— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) March 16, 2016
It is possible LaRoche could ultimately decide against retirement, and according to Rosenthal, LaRoche told the White Sox on Tuesday that he would take a few days before finalizing his decision.
But for the moment, the club will have to make contingency plans in the middle of its lineup, at first base and at designated hitter with LaRoche on his way out.
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