With upset current and former teammates showing their support after he abruptly retired this week, White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche may be speaking out Friday afternoon about the family issue that triggered his decision.
It's been two days since LaRoche, 36, ended his 12-year big-league career and walked away from $13 million this season because team executives informed him that there would be limits to how often his 14-year-old son, Drake, could be in the team's clubhouse.
The White Sox play the rival Chicago Cubs in a spring-training game in Arizona on Friday, when it's possible that LaRoche may speak to reporters about his decision to hang it up. Team president Ken Williams has insisted that Drake was not banned from the clubhouse.
"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,'' Williams told Fox Sports. "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 his retirement papers but they haven't yet been handed over to Major League Baseball. TODAY reached out for comment to LaRoche and his agent but so far have not heard back. LaRoche has not explicitly addressed the issue, only issuing a tweet with the hashtag #FamilyFirst upon his retirement.
His retirement has raised the question of how much is too much when it comes to bringing your children to work, even if your workplace is a baseball stadium.
His teammates came to his defense, including ace pitcher Chris Sale, who reportedly went on an expletive-laden rant to Williams about the situation, according to Fox Sports. Outfielder Adam Eaton also chimed in with his support.
LaRoche and his brother, Andy, a former major league player himself, grew up in big-league ballparks because their father, Dave, is a former pitcher and coach who often brought them to work. Other major-league stars like Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers and Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers bring their kids to the ballpark, but not every day like Drake. Teams have different rules for how much players' children are allowed in the clubhouse.
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