The Adam LaRoche saga is not over. After our initial story was published, it seemed that all the relevant details had surfaced. Essentially we were left with a story that was blown out of proportion due to the way it was handled. Kenny Williams, the White Sox president, asked LaRoche to bring his son, Drake, around the clubhouse and on road trips less often; which, on the surface is not an unreasonable request at all when it was revealed that he was around 100 percent of the time.
Jeff Passan wrote a column this morning in which he came to a similar conclusion.
"No villains exist in this fascinating case of the Chicago White Sox and Adam LaRoche, whose disagreement over the amount of time a player's child can spend with the team prompted LaRoche to step away from the game Tuesday. The White Sox are not insensitive bogeymen"
While they might not be insensitive, the White Sox are back to being the villains (although Mike Bates makes a compelling argument that they're not the bad guys). Based on Williams' statement yesterday, we were lead to believe that the White Sox and LaRoche didn't have an agreement on how much time Drake could spend in the clubhouse. Williams wasn't barring LaRoche's son from ever being around his father before game time, or on road-trips, but simply asking the two to "dial it back."
However according to David Kaplan, LaRoche's signing with the White Sox was contingent upon his son being able to be with the team 100 percent of the time.
Just so we're clear: Sox agreed to let LaRoche have son be around 100% of the time. Condition of him agreeing to sign w/the White Sox. 100%.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) March 17, 2016
Sources tell me one of the players very upset w/Kenny Williams was Chris Sale. The meeting yesterday was very contentious and Sale spoke up.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) March 17, 2016
Do not believe for 1 sec Adam LaRoche is in wrong. After doing my homework I promise you Sox said Drake could ALWAYS be around.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) March 17, 2016
At this time, it's unclear if this was just a handshake agreement between LaRoche and the White Sox, or actually part of the contract language, but realistically, it doesn't matter in terms of perception. Chicago might be trying to change their clubhouse culture, but this is a horrible way to go about that, especially considering that more than one of the White Sox's key players were not in favor of this decision; and their star pitcher, Chris Sale, was absolutely furious.
Heard same as @thekapman: In a contentious meeting, Chris Sale absolutely lit up White Sox prez Kenny Williams over Adam LaRoche situation.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 17, 2016
After GM Rick Hahn and manager Robin Ventura OK'd Drake LaRoche's presence, for Williams to unilaterally say otherwise set the players off.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 17, 2016
F-bombs aplenty flew during the White Sox's meeting with Kenny Williams. Players so pissed they considered boycott, as @karlravechespn said.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 17, 2016
Sale told Williams, unequivocally, to get out of the clubhouse and stay out, per a source. Williams acknowledges meeting was passionate.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 17, 2016
According to Matt Abbatacola, at least a few players complained to Kenny Williams about Drake, and that the White Sox are in some aspects, a divided team on this matter; however for enough of them to consider a boycott sends an extraordinarily clear message that most of them had LaRoche's back.
These recent revelations have shifted the blame back to the White Sox, and it's hard to see how they can move the spotlight off themselves. Eventually, this story will die down, and we likely won't be talking about this in July, but fans, and most importantly the players, will remember how Chicago treated LaRoche. The next course of action is up in the air, but at the very least, the MLBPA is considering filing a grievance against the White Sox on behalf of LaRoche.
If more information is made available, this story will be updated.