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Adam LaRoche - The Controversy


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#1 West Coast Mets Fan

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 01:43 PM

 

USA TODAY

Bob Nigthengale
 
PHOENIX - Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale accused executive vice president Ken Williams of lying to players Friday, and says they have demanded a meeting with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf over the sudden retirement of teammate Adam LaRoche.
 
“We got bold-faced lied to,’’ said Sale, “by someone we were supposed to trust.
 
“This isn’t us rebelling against the rules. This is us rebelling against B.S., plain and simple.’’
 
Sale, who walked into the clubhouse Friday to find autographed jerseys with personal messages inscribed by LaRoche and the first baseman's 14-year-old son, Drake, says players have an issue with only member of the White Sox organization: Williams.
 
“Somebody walked out of those doors the other day,’’ Sale said, “and it was the wrong guy. Plain and simple.’’
 
And LaRoche is not coming back.
 
LaRoche’s locker and his son’s locker, complete with the nameplates, still remain in the White Sox clubhouse. Yet, LaRoche told his teammates that he’s not changing his mind and is quitting baseball, White Sox outfielder and union representative Adam Eaton said, walking away from the $13 million remaining in his contract
 
Adam LaRoche may not like it, but White Sox request for less Drake is fair
 
LaRoche left the team Tuesday after Williams informed him that he must limit Drake's clubhouse access.
 
“You see the reach a lot of people have made,’’ Eaton said. “Adam sees that as God put me into this position to make a decision. I made the decision I made. And it’s sending shock waves through not only the sports world, but so many different media channels.
 
“I think a lot of people have stepped back and said, 'If a man can step away from $13 million for his family and his son, what does it take for me to spend a little more time with my kid, or take a little more responsibility for my family situation.'’’
 
The White Sox players have asked for the Major League Baseball Players Association's involvement, with Eaton and Sale each saying that LaRoche had a clause in his contract permitting his son to be with him as much as possible. Yet, it appears it was only a handshake agreement, and there would be no basis for the union to step in and permit LaRoche’s son to continue being with the team.
 
“The question becomes when a player makes a decision to retire, that means one thing,” union chief Tony Clark said Thursday. “If there is discipline involved, that means something different.’’
 
 
The White Sox players say they were hoping to change Williams’ mind during Tuesday's contentious two-hour meeting, but instead, became infuriated, even threatening to boycott Wednesday’s spring-training game.
 
“Kenny said quite a few things,’’ Sale said, “contradicting statements a couple of times.
 
"We've been told three different stories, so we don't know who to believe, or even who to believe it originated from. First, he said it was the players (who complained about LaRoche’s son). Then went to the coaches. Then came in here and told us it was the owner. I think if the right person had handled it, it would have been completely different.
 
“We have a much bigger problem on our hands than Kenny coming in here and kicking out a kid, and 'Roche retiring. That's the unfortunate part of all this. But at the end of the day, it wasn't the right thing.
 
“We're still missing a teammate, plain and simple. There was no issue before, and we're still trying to find out what the truth is and where it's coming from.’’
 
Williams, in a statement, said: “While I disagree with Chris’ assertions today, I certainly have always appreciated his passion.’’
 
Drake LaRoche, who is home-schooled, has been by his dad’s side for the last five years, a welcome presence in the Washington Nationals' spring training and regular season activities before his father signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the White Sox before the 2015 season.
 
He was a staple in the clubhouse, complete with his own locker and uniform. He participated in drills with the players, and helped out clubhouse attendants.
 
“Drake is honestly one of the best kids I've ever met,’’ Sale said. “You can ask anybody, anybody, that's ever played with Adam. I think that's another part of the issue. We're not talking about some guy and his kid. We're talking about Adam LaRoche. Same thing with Drake.
 
“This kid is wise beyond his years. He's mature beyond his years. And quite honestly, he was a blast to have around. For lack of a better term, he was our team mascot.
 
“He brought just as much energy to this clubhouse as anybody. And it's a hard pill to swallow for someone outside the clubhouse to tell us what's going to happen. We don't go up to his office and tell him how to do his job.
 
“I don't see that in return.’’
 
The White Sox players insist it won’t affect their chemistry inside the clubhouse, and perhaps will even bring them closer together, but concede it’s a huge distraction.
 
"We were rolling,’’ Sale said. “We had positive energy in here. Nobody saw anything as a distraction until all this happened.
 
“There was no problem in here. We were a steam engine going ahead. We had some positive energy going. There was absolutely no problem in here whatsoever with anyone. And (Williams) kind of created a problem.
 
“We're missing two big pieces to our puzzle, plain and simple. I'm not going to sit here and say it's going to be the main reason (if the team struggles), or anything like that, but he's definitely going to be missed, and we're not going to get him back.’’
 
Sale plans to treasure the jerseys that the LaRoche family left him. He hung them up on each side of his locker, and likely will keep them up during the regular season, too.
 
“Would I love to have him back?’’ Sale said. “Absolutely. And I think anybody in here would take him back in a heartbeat. But at the same time you have to respect a man that stands by his word and is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.’’
 
The White Sox players hope to have more answers when they meet with Reinsdorf, but no matter what transpires, they realize LaRoche likely played his final baseball game. He already signed his retirement papers, and the White Sox are expected to soon submit them to the league office.
 
"I think the ultimate goal is to talk to (Reinsdorf),’’ Sale said. “Jerry's a very understanding person, and I think if we can get to him and speak to him and actually have an adult conversation, I think we'll be able to figure things out and iron out all the creases.
 
“My concern is this team and the well-being of this team. I have a lot of time invested in this team, and the whole blood sweat and tears thing. I want to win. And with the things going on, that's going to be a lot harder to accomplish.
 
“I think if we're truly trying to win a championship, there's no room for this kind of stuff.’’
 

 

The way I read this it is the White Sox that blundered here. Kudos to LaRoche for sticking to his principles even in the face of leaving $13M on the table



#2 West Coast Mets Fan

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:18 PM

How do you fix a typo in the thread title. It should be "controversy"



#3 METS FANG

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:27 PM

Thanks WCMF.  Good idea creating a thread.  Sorry Dru/Dan, I started the chatbox convo on it.

 

I agree with your assessment.  Based on a few things I've read:

 

1)  He has a history of similar (if not identical) actions pertaining to his son's consistent home presence with the team.

2)  It appears the ChiSox knew about his preference and agreed to allow it prior to his signing.

3)  Claimed he wouldn't have signed the contract if they had said no (per above)

 

I also haven't read anything about this, but I speculate that the real motivation behind it was they knew he might walk away and after being unable to land any big named FA might see themselves in rebuild mode and would rather save the 13M...



#4 METS FANG

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:27 PM

How do you fix a typo in the thread title. It should be "controversy"

nope.  will forever be remembered as WCMF, the man who couldn't spell controversy!



#5 METS FANG

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:32 PM

http://espn.go.com/m...nt-adam-laroche

 

ditor's note: The following is a statement from Adam LaRoche, who retired from Major League Baseball this week after the Chicago White Sox placed limitations on the time his 14-year-old son, Drake, spent with the team.

Given the suddenness of my departure and the stir it has caused in both the media and the clubhouse, I feel it's necessary to provide my perspective.

 


Over the last five years, with both the Nationals and the White Sox, I have been given the opportunity to have my son with me in the clubhouse. It is a privilege I have greatly valued. I have never taken it for granted, and I feel an enormous amount of gratitude toward both of those organizations.

Though I clearly indicated to both teams the importance of having my son with me, I also made clear that if there was ever a moment when a teammate, coach or manager was made to feel uncomfortable, then I would immediately address it. I realize that this is their office and their career, and it would not be fair to the team if anybody in the clubhouse was unhappy with the situation. Fortunately, that problem never developed. I'm not going to speak about my son Drake's behavior, his manners, and the quality of person that he is, because everyone knows that I am biased. All of the statements from my teammates, past and present, should say enough. Those comments from all of the people who have interacted with Drake are a testimony to how he carries himself.

Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son's ability to be a part of the team. After some due diligence on the club's part, we reached an agreement. The 2015 season presented no problems as far as Drake was concerned. (My bat and our record are another story!)

With all of this in mind, we move toward the current situation which arose after White Sox VP Ken 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.

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.

I understand that many people will not understand my decision. I respect that, and all I ask is for that same level of respect in return. I live by certain values that are rooted in my faith, and I am grateful to my parents for that. I have tried to set a good example on and off the field and live a life that represents these values. As fathers, we have an opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can't be shaken by the world around them. Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around.

At every level of my career, the game of baseball has reinforced the importance of family to me. Being at my father's side when he coached. Playing alongside my brothers as a kid and as an adult in the big leagues.

Likewise, it has been great to have my son by my side to share in this experience as I played.

In each and every instance, baseball has given me some of my life's greatest memories. This was likely to be the last year of my career, and there's no way I was going to spend it without my son.

 

Baseball has taught me countless life lessons. I've learned how to face challenges, how to overcome failure, how to maintain humility, and most importantly, to trust that the Lord is in control and that I was put here to do more than play the game of baseball. We are called to live life with an unwavering love for God and love for each other. These are lessons I try to teach my kids every day. I truly am blessed to have been granted each of those experiences.

Thank you to all of my previous managers, past teammates and friends across the league for making these past 12 years such a wonderful journey, and for providing me with memories that I will never forget--especially the ones with my son by my side.

I will leave you with the same advice that I left my teammates. In life, we're all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make. Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.

- Adam



#6 METS FANG

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:44 PM

great letter.  Not going to say anything more than that... great letter.



#7 West Coast Mets Fan

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 03:26 PM

great letter.  Not going to say anything more than that... great letter.

 

I agree, great letter.....



#8 abat

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 04:58 AM

Interesting to read this from his perspective.



#9 mjjm367

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 10:19 AM

My normal take on a situation like this is that once you make an exception, it is no longer an exception, it is the new normal.  This applies to anything in life - your job, your personal life, your word, your honor.  Having the LaRoche kid in the dugout would be an exception.

 

Having said that, I have the following thoughts.

 

This appears to have been a previously negotiated agreement between LaRoche and the Sox.  In which case, Williams of the Sox appears to be making an exception to keeping his word.  Massive fail when you are in a position of leadership.

 

LaRoche seems to be the one who is keeping his honor here, putting what is important to him, his family, over a very large sum of money.  My respect to him.

 

I don't see how Williams is able to maintain his position.  He better hope like hell that the Sox do well this year, or he may be (and should be) gone.



#10 brian stark

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:41 AM

It gets even more complicated:

 

http://mlb.nbcsports...partner=ya5nbcs

 

This makes the situation even more murky.

 

If there were complaints, then Williams had to address the situation.

 

He handled it horribly, but something had to be done. I don't know what the correct thing to do would be, there are legit stances on either side. However, it looks to me like no matter what he did, there were going to be problems.



#11 mjjm367

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:55 AM

This sucks all the way around.  And there is a very interesting paragraph in the article you linked to...

 

Now Sale and Eaton — and, one presumes, some other players for whom they were speaking — know that what they initially believed was not true. They now know that there was not unanimous acceptance of Drake LaRoche. At the very best the Sale-Eaton contingent have to be embarrassed at how far out on the limb they got on this, portraying clubhouse ambivalence as clubhouse unity. More concerning, however, is that the Sale-Eaton contingent may now feel as though their teammates lied to them. Either by voicing disingenuous support for the LaRoches while they secretly complained or by keeping silent and allowing that impression to be created.

 

 

Talk about a fractured clubhouse.

 

And, no matter how Williams handled it, he protected the players that spoke to him in confidence.  Williams, in essence, took one for the team. 

 

I wonder if any of the players who complained go public.  Doubt it.



#12 West Coast Mets Fan

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 11:10 AM

Well one good thing in this situation is that non-baseball related junk is happening to a team other than the Mets for a change!


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#13 yogib8

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 01:55 PM

The WSox didn't sign LaRoche at 25M to hit .207/.293/.340.  At age 36 and 13M still due, imo, Williams created an issue in hopes of this outcome. 

 

Everyone has a price...Williams established his as an atta boy and maybe a case of scotch from Reinsdorf.   What we know about Laroche is that 13 M isn't enough. 

 

Maybe the thread should have been titled Crass and Class



#14 METS FANG

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:17 PM

Welcome back Yogi.



#15 yogib8

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:50 PM

Welcome back Yogi.

 

My laptop went from Windows-7 to W-10 and is now back to W-7.   In my mind Windows -7 is the F-150 and everything since has been Edsels.   Even my printer scanning ability wasn't compatible with W-10.






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