-- Baseball player Adam LaRoche has broken his silence about his decision to leave the White Sox after being told he couldn't bring his son to practices as regularly as he had been.
In the wake of the news of LaRoche's departure, the team's general manager, Kenny Williams, asserted that he had asked LaRoche not to bring his 14-year-old son Drake to practice every day, but now LaRoche is disputing that account.
"The current situation which arose after White Sox VP Ken Williams recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse. Later, I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all," LaRoche said in a statement released today.
"Upon doing so, I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf," LaRoche wrote.
In the lengthy statement, LaRoche said that he had been allowed to bring his son with him to work regularly when he played for both the Washington Nationals and the White Sox.
"It is a privilege I have greatly valued. I have never taken it for granted," he wrote.
"Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son’s ability to be a part of the team," LaRoche said, claiming that the club agreed.
Williams said that the arrangement to bring Drake to practice regularly was not a formal part of the contract, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"All I'm asking you to do with regards to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back," Williams said in a statement released after LaRoche left. "I don't think he should be here 100 percent of the time and he has been here 100%, every day, in the clubhouse."
LaRoche said there were no problems with him bringing his son to the ballpark during the 2015 season, but that reportedly changed this year.
"My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams," LaRoche said.