Adam LaRoche walked away from baseball yesterday because his 14 year-old kid was no longer allowed to hang out in the White Sox clubhouse everyday.
At first, when I read this story, I had a hard time believing that this was really true. I mean, who forfeits $13 Million/year because you can’t find a babysitter? Then I remembered it’s Spring Training and who gives a crap about someone’s kid hanging out in the clubhouse? The more I thought about it, the more I understood why LaRoche was upset. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the White Sox higher-ups are making a mountain out of a 14 year-old mole hill.
Baseball players play 162 games every year, which means 81 of those games are on the road. About two-thirds of their home games are played at night and they don’t get home until well after 10pm. If you’re doing the math (which I’m not, because math sucks), you can see how little baseball players get to see their families. In fact, many players live in AZ or FL during the off-season so they can spend more time with their families during Spring Training. Many families don’t even live in the same city of the player’s team. Long story short, baseballers don’t get to see their kids that often, so it makes sense that their kids would hang out during Spring Training.
If your kid is well-behaved, I don’t see a huge issue with them in the clubhouse during Spring Training. If they stay out of the way and don’t cause a ruckus, who cares? The argument the White Sox front office used is “what other job allows for your kid to be there?”. My responses to that is: what other job forces you to hardly see your family for half the year?
Most of the other players in the clubhouse had no issue with LaRoche’s son being there, but I could understand why you might. You can’t say bad words in front of him, and you can’t tell your gross hook up stories in front of him, but that’s not the end of the world! At no other job do you get to swear freely or divulge the weird things you do when you’re not on the clock.
I guess what I am getting at is that it really isn’t a big deal to have kids in the clubhouse during Spring Training. If your kid is acting like the Tasmanian Devil, then yeah, find a daycare, but if your kid is well-behaved and stays out of the way, then enjoy the bonding time! Goodness knows you don’t get to watch your kids grow up while you’re on the road. You don’t get to tuck your kid in every night during the season. So go ahead, let your kid hang out in the clubhouse, all these stuffy writers and front office people be damned!
The White Sox have a valid argument, sure. You want to set a precedent and create a professional environment. Adam LaRoche was, in my opinion, dumb for walking away from the $13 million he was set to make this year. The whole situation is dumb if you ask me, but hey, I don’t make the rules.
However, if Adam’s kid every even looks at his dad wrong, Adam can be all like “I quit baseball for you”. Boom. Mic drop.