CHICAGO (WLS) -- The drama surrounding the sudden retirement of Adam LaRoche reached a fever pitch Friday. LaRoche finally releasing a statement via Twitter to explain his side of the story.
In a portion of his statement, LaRoche wrote: "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."
LaRoche certainly is not the only one taking issue with Williams. Ace pitcher Chris Sale did not mince words in regards to his feelings about the Sox longtime VP, saying the issue in the clubhouse is not Drake LaRoche, but Williams, who he says is lying.
"Kenny's said quite a few things, contradicting statements a few times. Came to the players, said it was the coaches. Came to the coaches said it was the players. Then came in here and told us it was the owner, so we're not exactly (sure) who it's coming from, where it originated from," Sale said. "This isn't us rebelling against rules, this is us rebelling against BS plain and simple. We have a much bigger problem on our hands than Kenny coming in here and kicking out a kid. We got bold-faced lied to by someone we're supposed to be able to trust. Somebody walked out of those doors the other day, and it was the wrong guy."
White Sox pitcher Dave Robertson also weighed in, saying: "You hate to see something like that fall on a 14-year-old kid. Drake's a great kid, and he's been a part of this team. So, hopefully he has no hard feelings in this. It's not him. There are bigger entities at work in this."
Owner Jerry Reinsdorf weighed in with his own statement saying it would be premature to comment as they deal with an "internal issue". He asked members of the organization to refrain from comment as they try to return focus to winning baseball games.
Coincidentally, the White Sox are hosting the Cubs Friday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.
Read LaRoche's full statement below:
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 LaRoche addresses dispute over son in White Sox clubhouse
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