Chicago White Sox

White Sox Players Reportedly Considered Boycott After Adam LaRoche Retirement

Chicago White Sox's Adam LaRoche, left, talks with Brett Lawrie, right, as the two wait their turn for batting practice during a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2016

Chicago White Sox players considered boycotting Wednesday's spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers in support of Adam LaRoche, according to Karl Ravech of ESPN, after LaRoche retired following the organization's request that he bring his 14-year-old son Drake into the clubhouse less.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports confirmed the report and noted that "F-bombs aplenty flew" during the team's meeting with their general manager. 

According to the report, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was able to convince the players to play in the contest. However, Ravech added, "Sources said there is a division between those in the front office and Ventura and his players regarding clubhouse access."

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that ace pitcher Chris Sale was particularly vocal during the meeting and added that he "told Williams unequivocally to get out of the clubhouse and stay out."

On Tuesday, White Sox vice president Ken Williams spoke with Rosenthal about the situation regarding Drake LaRoche's access to the clubhouse:

LaRoche signed his retirement papers, as reported by Scott Merkin of MLB.com, but the White Sox have not yet sent them to the league office, which gives him the opportunity to reconsider his decision.

LaRoche, 36, hit .207 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in 127 games in 2015 as a first baseman and designated hitter. It was a down season for the 11-year veteran, who hit at least 20 home runs and 75 RBI in seven of his first 10 seasons.

LaRoche was due to make $13 million this season, according to Spotrac, after signing a two-year, $25 million deal in 2015. He was apparently willing to forego that money after the White Sox requested he bring his son around the clubhouse less often.

His teammates clearly supported his decision, based on their reported response. The White Sox now must worry about a rift between the players and the front office, an unwanted distraction heading into Opening Day for a team with postseason aspirations.

 

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.  

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