He made headlines in March after announcing his retirement from Major League Baseball, and now Adam LaRoche is revealing the real reason he decided to call it quits.
LaRoche played for the Chicago White Sox before announcing to the world that he was leaving the sport. One of the reasons – he was no longer allowed to bring his son to team practices.
“I never took it for granted,” said LaRoche in an interview with ESPN magazine. “One, I get to play a game. Two, I get paid an absurd amount of money to play a game. Three, I can have my son with me while I’m doing it. I was pinching myself all the time, wondering, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ And I always knew it could get shut down at any point. You could have a manager who just flat doesn’t like it. You can have players complain — Hey, we’re tired of having a kid around. There’s a chance we could have other guys see Drake and think, ‘I’ll bring my kid too.’ Obviously we can’t turn this into a daycare. I get it.”
According to reports, the Sox’s management told the MLB vet that he had to stop bringing his 14-year-old son to the team clubhouse and to practices. LaRoche decided he didn’t want to compromise and as a result, gave up his $13 million salary this season to spend time with his family.
LaRoche’s son Drake started attending practices in 2011 when the athlete played for the Washington Nationals. Previously, Drake and his sister Montana, 12, attended school electronically. Now the 14-year-old is getting ready to attend a high school that has a mandatory attendance record.
LaRoche wanted to enjoy the quality time with his son at work while he could and when his team took that away, his decision to retire was finalized. “I had an idea this might be my last year,” LaRoche told ESPN. “I knew this was probably our last opportunity to share time together at the field and do what we’ve always done.”
“I’m not saying this is the way everybody should raise their kid,” he added. “I’m saying I was given the privilege to raise my kid this way by some awesome teams and managers and GMs … I feel like I’ve spent as much time with Drake as you can, and if he were to die tomorrow, I guarantee you I’d be looking back and saying I wish I spent more time with him.”
According to reports, his teammates were not happy with management when they learned the reason behind LaRoche’s decision to retire and threatened to strike during spring training. The MLB star said that he received a tremendous amount of support from fellow players who didn’t necessarily mind that his son came with him to practices.
LaRoche believes that his poor performance during last year’s season may have been a factor in management’s decision to ban Drake from practices.
“I sucked last year, and the team sucked, “ he told the mag.
In addition to not being able to bring Drake to practices, LaRoche said that he was also inspired to leave baseball after going undercover in Southeast Asia. Along with his friend Blaine Boyer, who is also an MLB star, the 15-year-old vet helped rescue underage sex slaves in the foreign country.
“Something huge happened there for us. You can’t explain it. Can’t put your finger on it … What are we doing?” LaRoche said to ESPN.
“We’re going back to play a game for the next eight months?”
Since his retirement, the former-White Sox athlete is keeping busy with his meat company, two restaurants and show “Buck Commander,” which is stars in alongside “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie Robertson, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.