Former Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche confirmed Friday a disagreement with the team's executive vice president, Kenny Williams, concerning the amount of time his 14-year-old son spent in the clubhouse led to his retirement decision.
LaRoche released a statement on his official Twitter account to provide his side of the story. He said he's always been up-front with teams about the presence of his son Drake and that was the case before he signed with Chicago last year. Something changed heading into this season:
With all of this in mind, we move toward the current situation which arose after [Williams] recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse. Later, I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all. Obviously, I expressed my displeasure toward this decision to alter the agreement we had reached before I signed with the White Sox. Upon doing so, I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
He added: "The White Sox organization is full of people with strong values and solid character. My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams."
Chris Bahr of Fox Sports previously passed along comments Williams made to the outlet's Ken Rosenthal about the situation. He made no mention of completely barring Drake from the clubhouse but rather stated he wanted the slugger to scale back the visits:
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?
Williams' decision hasn't been popular among the other White Sox players. Earlier Friday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted starting pitcher Chris Sale stated they have requested a meeting with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to discuss the matter.
"We got bold-faced lied to by someone we were supposed to trust," Sale said. "This isn't us rebelling against the rules. This is us rebelling against B.S., plain and simple."
The team's ace continued: "Somebody walked out of those doors the other day and it was the wrong guy. Plain and simple."
Clearly the entire situation is spiraling out of control for the White Sox with just a couple of weeks until Opening Day. Not only have they lost a potentially productive member of the starting lineup, but the other players are obviously upset, as well.
Finding a solution everybody can be happy with before the season gets underway is now the top priority. What the front office might have felt was a simple request is now threatening to damage the outlook for Chicago's entire season as the players demand answers.