Kenny Williams: My New Hero
The Chuck E. Cheez-ation of America was dealt a critical blow Wednesday, when Adam LaRoche retired.
By now, you’ve heard the reason Adam LaRoche hung ‘em up, walking away from the last year of his contract: the White Sox would no longer let LaRoche’s 14-year-old kid spend all his time in the clubhouse.
GM Kenny Williams told LaRoche the kid would have to go. So LaRoche quit baseball.
Score one for the curmudgeons! (NOTE: I am the king of all curmudgeons.)
Last season, LaRoche’s kid spent the whole year with the White Sox. Had his own locker in the clubhouse and everything. And the Sox finished in fourth place, 10 games under .500. This week, Williams decided to put a stop to kid-related distractions.
I’m happy LaRoche and his kid have a good relationship. But that’s not why I root for my team. I root for my team to play entertaining baseball and win games. And having a 14-year-old around – even the coolest, most chill, most well-adjusted 14-year-old – is a distraction. And no team needs distractions.
Jeez, smitty. You’re a bigger grouch than I thought. What’s the big deal?
Guilty as charged, your honor. But here’s the big deal: why do the other 24 White Sox have to deal LaRoche’s kid?
And before you tell me that the Sox players nearly boycotted Wednesday’s game to protest Williams’ edict, think of this: what else were they going to say? Nobody wants to be anti-kid. Or anti-your-teammate’s kid.
Here’s what Williams said to Fox Sports:
“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 percent of the time. And he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent 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?”
That’s kind of the definition of “good point, Ken.”
Plus, why LaRoche? What makes him so special? Not that it matters in this case, but LaRoche hit a big .207 last year with 12 homers and 44 rbis. He struck out 123 times in 429 at bats. This guy … this guy’s not so good anymore.
He actually did the White Sox a huge favor by a) not clogging a roster spot and b) leaving $13 million in the team’s coffers.
I don’t have kids, but I like kids.
No, you don’t.
I do! Really! My sister’s kids are the greatest! But why does LaRoche think it’s OK to bring his kid to the ballpark every day? Presumably some of the other White Sox have children. Why not let their kids run around the clubhouse, dropping Cheerios everywhere?
Smitty, 14-year-olds don’t drop Cheerios everywhere.
You know what I mean. It’s obvious that you can’t let everyone’s kids do what LaRoche’s kid was allowed to do.
You don’t bring your kid to work every day, do you? Just so you can have him or her around? What would that do to your productivity? Sure, a kid at work is sometimes a welcome change of pace. But every day? That’s weird.
I remember a guy on a team I played for who brought his kid to every game. The kid sat on the team bench and drank everybody’s Gatorade and chewed everybody’s bubble gum. When his dad was in the game, the guys on the bench had to keep an eye on the kid. His dad would get all weird and awkward when anyone swore – which, on that team, meant the dad was pretty much always weird and awkward. The dad didn’t see what the problem was.
And neither did LaRoche.
So long, Adam. And so long, Adam’s son. The White Sox might concentrate a little more on winning games.