Monday, March 21, 2016

The Retirement of Adam LaRoche

Photo: from his Wikipedia page. Or, this is Adam LaRoche, running from his responsibilities.

Please bear with me here, even if you don't like baseball, because this really isn't a baseball entry. For those who don't know, Adam LaRoche, part-time first baseman for the Chicago White Sox, and a player due to earn $13 million this year to mostly sit on the bench, suddenly retired and forfeited said $13 million when he was told that he could not bring his 14-year old son to the locker room and to the clubhouse for every single game. This has been his MO for each of his past 11 major league seasons.

--Read Justin Gorman's short article about Adam Laroche's sudden retirement here, at the Sons of Sam Horn page. I couldn't agree more. Brilliant move by Executive Vice President (and former GM) Ken Williams, if it was indeed planned. Had LaRoche stayed, the White Sox would've had to pay $13 million for the honor of having LaRoche ride the bench with his son beside him, and at most LaRoche would've come in as a defensive replacement in the later innings. The South Siders thought so much of LaRoche that they've given him five Spring Training at-bats. In 2009, the Red Sox traded two prospects for him, but had him for all of 6 games and 19 ABs, before they decided they'd rather have Casey Kotchman. And the Nationals were so pleased with his 26 homers and 92 RBIs last year that they bought out his option for $2 million. Williams said, "In what other business can you bring your son to work every single day?" and he's right. Now the Pale Hose have $13 million in their pockets, and two lockers for more deserving bodies.

--Yes, that's right. Two lockers. The son was there so often that he got his own locker. The kid must've been there longer than many minor leaguers, some prospects, and a few veterans.

--And I don't care what Chris Sale says. So Williams went back on his verbal agreement about the kid from last year. If LaRoche hadn't been paid $12 million just to barely hit above the Mendoza Line, maybe this wouldn't be an issue. (Though Williams never should've agreed to that to begin with.)

--Then again, he never should've signed LaRoche to begin with.

--My guess is that Gorman was right: Ken Williams wanted to get rid of this contract, and he knew the button to push. I say, good for him.

--This is all about one word: Entitlement.

--Now, because I can't say it any better than this, I offer you, off her social media, the sage wisdom of Bethany Randa, wife of former major league third baseman Joe Randa:

“I’ve gotten so many messages about what a wonderful thing it is that Adam retired for his son ... and yes, my boys spent time in the clubhouse when it was approved and appropriate and loved every minute of it!!! My concern is and ALWAYS has been that these kids already live a privileged life, where rules don’t always apply, where ridiculous money just pours in, where so many of the things we could afford were free, and where we were offered immediate seating at restaurants and other events ahead of hard working people who were there before us. My boys saw this. It sounds ridiculous to most people, but our job is to raise dependable hard working and respectful men. It’s hard enough in the world they see, but to teach your child that when your boss makes a decision you don’t agree with, you just 'retire'?? In the REAL world, that’s not an option.’’

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