Report: White Sox players considered boycott to support Adam LaRoche
The decision to try limiting the access of Adam LaRoche’s son reportedly backfired for the Chicago White Sox, with sources saying the players threatened to boycott a spring training game in support of the surprisingly retiring slugger.
ESPN’s Karl Ravech said sources told him that team president Ken Williams’ decision to tell LaRoche to reduce or restrict his 14-year-old son Drake’s time with the team has resulted in a near mutiny by his teammates.
Ravech indicated that the team only decided to take the field after White Sox manager Robin Venture intervened and pleaded with them to do so.
“[The White Sox] were very seriously considering not playing and had made that clear,” Ravech said on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show, as transcribed by Sports Grid. “And Robin, according to those in the know, said, ‘Guys, ‘I get it but i need you to go out there. We have an exhibition game and we’ll work on this situation but I need you to go post for me as manager and you guys as players. You have a responsibility.’ They went out and did that.”
Ravech suggested that the White Sox probably would have handled things differently is they had the chance to do it all over.
“They had some veterans there who spoke during this meeting in support of the player and of the child being there and I think that — I think that in hindsight they probably would have looked at it and done it differently because most people would agree having a child around 100 percent of the time,” he said. “I’m not sure I believe that isn’t the way for a clubhouse of men between the ages of 20-40 to operate. I think everybody would agree with that. but to come out and throw a blanket statement about peel it back or 50 percent of the time or add numbers to it wasn’t the way it should have been done publicly and I think that upset or riled the players as much as anything else.”
Williams addressed the situation with the media Wednesday and clarified children are still allowed in the clubhouse but shouldn’t be present on an everyday basis, pointing out no other job would allow that.
“Sometimes you have to make decisions in this world that are unpopular,” he said.
The reports concerning LaRoche’s abrupt decision to retire has sparked a debate concerning how much access players’ children should have in the clubhouse and elsewhere. It perhaps should be expected that other teams will reconsider their policies as a result of what is happening with the White Sox.