A father of two, I love kids, particularly my own. And I cherish baseball, a sport I’ve followed for 50 years.
But for the life of me, I can’t fathom the pity party being thrown for big-leaguer Adam LaRoche and his 14-year-old son, Drake.
LaRoche, if you haven’t heard, is the Chicago White Sox player who recently quit over a disagreement with the club.
He says the front office won’t let his boy be around him while he’s playing baseball. Higher-ups claim they only want him to dial it back a notch.
Publicly, major leaguers are rallying around LaRoche.
Just like him, many have sons they want to shag flies and play pepper with — and they don’t want to endanger that privilege. Besides, going on the record against him comes off as anti-family.
But here’s how most players and LaRoche differ. The former live in a world with considerate people who observe boundaries.
The world is full of loving fathers. But their sons aren’t attached to them like a foot fungus, 24-7.
It’s called a workplace for a reason. A job requires concentration and productivity that can’t be interrupted by the changing of diapers or the settling of sibling squabbles.
And where is his daughter in all this mess? Does she matter? Why doesn’t her education include the same off-color jokes and crude pranks her brother is being exposed on the field and in the clubhouse?
What happened to being a kid and having friends your own age to climb trees and ride bikes with? He has his whole life to be a grown-up. Why start when you’re 14?
LaRoche says he doesn’t believe in school, claiming the lessons his son learns from the fellas supersede any education in a classroom.
Which is fine. LaRoche can parent as he pleases because he’s rich. According to Baseball-Reference.com, he has made nearly $70 million during his 12-year baseball career.
That will buy a lot of tutors. But it won’t earn him any respect.
Not in my book.