White Sox DH Adam LaRoche released a statement Friday on the events surrounding his decision to retire and the place of his son in the locker room.
LaRoche, aiming to clear up the situation, said his decision stemmed from a “fundamental disagreement” between himself and team vice president Ken Williams. LaRoche’s 14-year-old son Drake was a regular presence in the clubhouse with the White Sox and with the Nationals in previous seasons. LaRoche says the White Sox agreed that Drake could be around the team prior to his signing with the team, and that there were no complaints regarding his son's presence during the 2015 season.
He said he decided to retire after Williams “recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse,” and that later he was “told not to bring him to the ballpark at all.”
“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,” LaRoche wrote. “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.”
LaRoche emphasized the White Sox organization “is full of people with strong values and solid character,” and that his decision stemmed solely from the situation with Williams and the desire to spend more time with his family.
Read the full statement here.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement on the matter earlier Friday.
“White we appreciate everyone’s attention and interest, we continue to feel that it would be premature to comment at this time,” Reinsdorf wrote. “This is an internal issue, and we are in the process of holding a number of discussions with players, staff and the front office. As a result, we don’t want to comment until that process is completed. I have instructed members of the organization not to talk about this issue and get our focus back on the field and winning baseball games.”
Chicago’s season begins April 4.