Monday, March 21, 2016

Enough with the kid, already

     At one level, the Adam LaRoche's Kid Saga is one of those insane situations that only crop up in baseball. At another, it echoes with a common workplace dilemma.  

    It's spring break. My younger son is somewhere in Georgia — I'm fuzzy as to where — rowing with his NU crew team. My older son is busy with friends before he wings back to California on Tuesday.
     Neither is sprawled on my office floor.
     But not so long ago, they'd both be spending a lot of their spring break under the chairs in my office, vigorously manipulating their men — a ragtag squad of knights, soldiers, monsters, superheroes and the occasional farm animal.
     They loved coming to work with Dad. Loved it. Because they so adored their father, their hero ...
     Kidding. I'm savvy enough to know that I was the smallest part of that equation, which in their mind involved, in order of importance: 1) six hours of Nickelodeon 2) sugary drinks 3) breakfast at Harry's Hotdogs at Randolph and Franklin 4) lunch in a fancy restaurant and 5) me.

     Then I mentioned in a column that my older son had spent three days straight at work.
     The city editor promptly popped his head into my office to tell me exactly what designated hitter Adam LaRoche, whose 14-year-old son, Drake, had a locker in the team’s clubhouse, was told recently by White Sox management: Enough with the kid, already.
     Unlike LaRoche, I did not promptly quit. I’m mystified by the whole quitting thing. These baseball jobs, they’re hard to get, yes? Harder, even, than newspaper jobs?

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Update: In 2019, pulling this column up after three years, I checked up on Adam LaRoche to see how he was faring after quitting the White Sox over the incident with his son. I assumed I'd find him ensconced at another team. I didn't. He walked away from a $13 million contract with the Sox, the apparent end of his professional baseball career. Wow.     

Updated update: In 2021, I checked back on LaRoche, now a cattle rancher in Kansas, selling black angus beef nationwide. 


  1. Well said and so true all around. That's a humorous scenario about the kid of the guy you didn't like.

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  2. One readers take on the White Sox, LaRoche and kids in the workplace! If kids in the workplace is a kind of child abuse, consider this, "Divorce", is the worst kind of child abuse there is", no matter what anybody says! Think about it!

  3. Apparently you and the Sox owner never saw, "The Kid from Left Field"!
    Where the young son of the manager takes over managing the team,,,,and they WIN???? Or maybe they have??? Somebody call the Cub's, quick!

  4. This whole Sox vs. the old man's kid brouhaha, says a lot about Illinois politicians like, Richie Daily, Madigan, Mell, Lapinski, Cullerton, Rostenkowski, Stevenson, D'Arco, adnauseum, and you guys thought it just happened in Baseball!? It's just that in politics the kid's really don't make as much money as ballplayer's and they can't do much serious damage or become an embarrassment to the rest of us!?

  5. As a Cubs fan, I am indifferent to all things White Sox, only reaction is, what a weird reason to end your career.

    OTOH, LaRoche had a pretty bad season last year as I understand it, so maybe this was just an excuse or the straw that broke the camel's back.

  6. "My younger son is somewhere in Georgia — I'm fuzzy as to where..."
    Now I'm craving a delicious, juicy, Georgia peach!


  7. From what I gather from numerous columnists, this really isn't about LaRoche's kid, it's about the Sox players hatred of Kennie Williams.
    But because Reinsdorf has blinders about any hire of his, Williams won't be going anywhere & the Sox will be going to the same place!

    1. You mean the Black guy who hires and fires them? Hard to fathom.

      I was spared the ministrations of a controlling parent, my father having died when I was young and my mother being too busy putting bread on the table to keep me under constant scrutiny. Perhaps I missed out on something vital, but who knows? The influences exerted by my peers weren't always wholesome, but they did provide a basis for not always taking the views of the old folks as the last word. Which is, I think, healthy when one is released into the great world.

      Tom Evans

    2. You do understand that the black players also hate Williams?

  8. If LaRoche had brought his son in only occasionally, I could sort of understand the players uproar when they were told no more, but the son was there all the time. What kind of education is that kid getting? Even with homeschooling, they need to do a certain amount of hours each day. A men's locker room just doesn't seem like a good place for a kid to hang out in constantly.

  9. Didn't bat boys live with teams all summer back in the day? Weren't they usually relatives of someone in the organization, including the players? This wasn't a big deal before baseball went corporate.


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