A father’s love: Baseball star walks away from $13 million after row about bringing his son to training

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February 28, 2015 - Glendale, AZ, USA - First baseman Adam LaRoche walks back into the clubhouse with his son Drake, 13, after photo day Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Chicago White Sox spring training in Glendale, Ariz. Adam LaRoche announced retirement after White Sox asked him to reduce son s clubhouse time PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY - ZUMAm67_ February 28 2015 Glendale AZ USA First Baseman Adam LaRoche Walks Back Into The Clubhouse with His Sun Drake 13 After Photo Day Saturday Feb 28 2015 AT Chicago White Sox Spring Training in Glendale Ariz Adam LaRoche Announced Retirement After White Sox asked him to reduce Sun s Clubhouse Time PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY ZUMAm67_

February 28, 2015 - Glendale, AZ, USA - First baseman Adam LaRoche walks back into the clubhouse with his son Drake, 13, after photo day Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Chicago White Sox spring training in Glendale, Ariz. Adam LaRoche announced retirement after White Sox asked him to reduce son s clubhouse time PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY - ZUMAm67_ February 28 2015 Glendale AZ USA First Baseman Adam LaRoche Walks Back Into The Clubhouse with His Sun Drake 13 After Photo Day Saturday Feb 28 2015 AT Chicago White Sox Spring Training in Glendale Ariz Adam LaRoche Announced Retirement After White Sox asked him to reduce Sun s Clubhouse Time PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY ZUMAm67_
Adam LaRoche of the Chicago White Sox sprang a surprise on the world of Major League Baseball earlier this week when he announced his retirement.

LaRoche, 36, had one season left on his deal as a first baseman for the side – and would have pocketed $13 million (that’s £9 million) if he’d played.

Instead, and despite being in perfect health, he decided to retire.

Initially, LaRoche declined to discuss the reasons, saying only that it was a “personal” matter. But a day later, a Fox Sports reporter lifted the lid on what had happened – and revealed an extraordinary step taken by a father to stick with his family, no matter what the cost. For several years, LaRoche had brought his son, Drake, to training with him.

The boy – now 14 – hasn’t gone to school but instead has been tutored while on the road with his dad, meaning that he and his family could stay together throughout the year.

It was a relationship that became famous in the sport, with the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane writing a touching article last summer about it, and describing Drake as the  squad’s “26th man”.

Shortly after the arrangement started, LaRoche explained just what it meant to him being able to share so much time with his son:

“It’s like having your son and your best friend alongside you all day long, at work, which never gets to happen. I don’t know many jobs where you can bring your kid and not have to put him in day care somewhere. It’s been awesome.”

Sadly for LaRoche, not everyone has seen it as a positive – and that’s what prompted his retirement.

The president of the White Sox, Ken Williams, thought that Drake’s presence was detrimental and asked LaRoche to stop bringing him along – at least, not every day.

Williams defended his position in an interview with Fox’s reporter, Ken Rosenthal:

“This young man that we’re talking about, Drake, everyone loves this young man. In no way do I want this to be about him. I asked Adam, said, ‘Listen, our focus, our interest, our desire this year is to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity to focus on a daily basis on getting better. All I’m asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back.’

“I don’t think he should be here 100 per cent of the time – and he has been here 100 per cent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 per cent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between.

“We all think his kid is a great young man. I just felt it should not be every day, that’s all. You tell me, where in this country can you bring your child to work every day?”

LaRoche didn’t see it that way and flat-out refused, preferring instead to retire.

That “Family First” hashtag in his initial retirement announcement Tweet is revealed as all the more poignant – how many of us would really put our families first to this degree when there was £9 million on the table?

Now, £9m to LaRoche isn’t the same as it would be to you or me. He has have made over £50m over the last dozen years as a pro baseball player.

But still: that’s a hell of a final season payday to walk away from. And there has been an incredible outpouring of support for LaRoche after his quite stunning decision, and marvellous display of how to get your priorities straight.

The post Baseball star walks away from $13 million after row about brining his son to training appeared first on LE BUZZ.


 

There are a lot of varying comments on this story. There are many that agree with the president – why is the young boy not out with his mates and is instead sitting on a field with a bunch of 30-something year old men? And is it good practice to turn away £9 million rather than actually put the boy in a school? What are you teaching him? That he doesn’t have to do what he’s told and if there’s a rule he doesn’t like, he can just walk away from it?

Another school of thought says that LaRoche is hardly broke or poor. Surely if you’ve made the equivalent of £50 million, you can afford to make the kind of decisions that the average man cannot make – breaking their hearts leaving their family behind because they have to go to work to feed them and pay the bills? If the boy is at a critical age – 14 – surely this father-son bonding time is more important than a few more million in the bank? Add to that the fact that he might become a pundit or even a coach, so there’s nothing to say that his professional career is over and he could still earn more money.

What are your thoughts, reader?

 

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