Report: Players, staff complained about LaRoche's son
One day after Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale ripped executive vice president Ken Williams for his handling of the Adam LaRoche saga, a new report claims several players and staff members initiated complaints over the constant presence of 14-year-old Drake LaRoche in the team's clubhouse last season.
Sources tell Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports that multiple teammates and club officials weren't comfortable with the amount of time Drake was spending with the team, which was reported to be around 120 games in 2015, including almost every home game, half the road trips, team drills, and chartered flights.
According to Nightengale, Williams' decision to ask LaRoche to scale back Drake's clubhouse presence was a direct result of the complaints, which were only shared with upper management and never spoken about among the players, including LaRoche. From Nightengale:
Instead, it wasn't until Williams heard complaints, sat down with LaRoche, and told him to scale back his son's presence in camp. He could still come to camp and be in the clubhouse, but perhaps just half the time. Certainly, not every day. Well, after their heart-to-heart talk, nothing changed, according to multiple people in White Sox camp.
LaRoche kept bringing his son to the ballpark every day. This went on for at least three or four days. When Williams saw Drake on the field this week, in the middle of a practice drill, standing on the pitcher's mound, he lost it. Williams told LaRoche that was it. He violated the privilege. No more clubhouse access.
Williams later relented, and went back to his original request, simply asking LaRoche to cut his son's clubhouse presence to about half of the time. Too late.
Related: 3 things White Sox players should be angrier about than Drakegate
The White Sox refuted the assertion made in LaRoche's retirement statement that his son was completely banned from the ballpark, reiterating they only requested Drake not make daily visits. Since the controversy began earlier this week, several players have spoken out in support of LaRoche and Drake, including Sale, who told reporters that Williams issued the team a "bald-faced" lie with regard to Chicago's rules on having kids in the clubhouse.