Chicago White Sox players rushed to the defense of beloved veteran slugger Adam LaRoche after a new team policy preventing him from bringing his 14-year-old son into the clubhouse every day was enacted.
Team members even threatened to boycott Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, reports ESPN.
“This is a team that was not going to go out and practice, and furthermore, this was a team that ultimately said to the manager, ‘We’re not going to go out and play in that game at 1:00 p.m.’ You had a team that was willing to stand by the player and not participate in practice, and more so, not participate in an exhibition game,” ESPN’s baseball host Karl Ravech said on the Mike & Mike radio show.
White Sox team manager Robin Ventura apparently intervened, telling players that LaRoche would have wanted them to participate in the spring training game, according to the news outlet.
The immense support for LaRoche, 36, comes after the first baseman was asked by White Sox Executive Vice President Ken Williams last week to “dial it back,” when it came to bringing his son Drake to the clubhouse.
Instead, the father decided to walk away from his $13 million contract, using the Twitter hashtag #FamilyFirst, to announce his retirement from the game.
His withdrawal from baseball sparked outrage at management from his teammates.
White Sox fielder Adam Eaton said on social media that he was “proud to have played along side such a great man/father.”
“We wanted Drake in the clubhouse and we were backing Adam in every aspect. In that sense we’re going to miss him. He chose family over allowing his sons to be in the clubhouse, and we respect what he had to do. The man and the character that Adam LaRoche is, we’re not surprised he chose his family,” Eaton told the Chicago Tribune.
Although LaRoche has signed his retirement papers, the White Sox have not sent them to the league office – giving the player time to reconsider his decision, reports MLB.com.