Players on the Chicago White Sox considered boycotting a Spring Training game in a show of support for designated hitter Adam LaRoche, who retired after he was asked to curtail the time his 14-year-old son spent with the team, ESPN reports.
While White Sox manager Robin Ventura was able to convince his players to take the field against the Milwaukee Brewers, the stir has reportedly caused fractures in both the front office and clubhouse.
On Tuesday, LaRoche announced he was walking away from the White Sox and $13 million for the 2016 season after executive vice president Ken Williams instructed LaRoche on two separate occasions to cut back the amount of time his 14-year-old son, Drake, spent in the clubhouse. While the White Sox do allow players to bring their children to work, Williams told Fox Sports: "I don't think he should be here 100 percent of the time – and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don't even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between."
Upon announcing his retirement, LaRoche tweeted, "Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved! #FamilyFirst."
LaRoche made his major league debut with the Atlanta Braves in 2004 and spent several years hopping around the league before landing in Washington with the Nationals for four seasons. The first basemen-turned-designated hitter signed a two-year contract with the White Sox in 2014, but struggled his first season. He also had not played much during spring training this year due to back spasms.
LaRoche has brought Drake to his various teams' clubhouses throughout his career, and he himself grew up with intimate access to baseball: His father, Dave LaRoche, was a major league pitcher (and two-time All-Star), who went on to serve as a coach in several organizations, including a stint with the White Sox.