Imrem: LaRoche controversy only hurts Chicago White Sox

  • If nothing else, the handling of the controversy surrounding the retirement of Adam LaRoche last week make the White Sox organization look clumsy and awkward.

    If nothing else, the handling of the controversy surrounding the retirement of Adam LaRoche last week make the White Sox organization look clumsy and awkward. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/21/2016 5:57 AM

Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement Sunday designed to calm LaRoche LaMess turbulence.

Good luck with that, sir.

 

Sometimes it isn't the business you conduct as much as how you conduct your business.

If the controversy didn't expose the Sox as dysfunctional, they at best come out looking clumsy and awkward.

"While there is no doubt this might have been handled differently …," Reinsdorf said.

You think?

Even if the Sox proceed to win the World Series, last week won't be a catalyst. It'll be an obstacle they overcame.

Reinsdorf attributed the conflict less to anybody lying and more to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Well, Mr. Chairman, maybe it's time for new management people if your current management people can't communicate well enough to keep from embarrassing the Sox.

Instead, Reinsdorf continues "to have complete faith in the skills and abilities of the leadership group of our baseball operations department in Ken Williams, Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura."

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Great, but another way of looking at this is so much is wrong that it's hard to imagine anyone being right.

Which is OK considering it doesn't matter anymore who the primary culprit is.

Maybe it's Hahn, the general manager, for making a handshake promise to Adam LaRoche.

Maybe it's Ventura, the field manager, for allowing LaRoche's 14-year-old son Drake to have his own locker in the clubhouse.

Maybe it's Williams, the club's executive vice president, for reneging on Hahn's agreement with LaRoche.

Maybe it's players led by Chris Sale for rebelling against the events that culminated in LaRoche leaving baseball.

Maybe it's other players who reportedly objected privately to a child being around them a majority of the season.

Maybe it's LaRoche for demanding unreasonable concessions to sign with the Sox in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Finally, maybe it's Reinsdorf for assembling this cast of characters that led to this Sox silliness.

Dump them all in a pot, stir them around, and you come up with LaRoche LaMess.

Hasn't this sort of "creative tension" marked both Reinsdorf-chaired teams, the White Sox and Bulls?

Maybe Reinsdorf believes that's the way to operate after the Bulls won six NBA titles despite infighting and the Sox won a World Series with the misfit management team of Williams and Ozzie Guillen.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that these Sox now might suffer from players vs. management, players vs. players and maybe even management vs. management.

This environment can work if players trick themselves into thriving in a us-against-the-world mood.

More likely, Sox players will go through the motions of reconciliation, but it'll take more than a couple of days to truly restore the trust management squandered.

That isn't exactly the type of chilly climate into which many future free agents with other options will be eager to insert themselves.

At this point it doesn't matter whose side you're on.

What matters is that the Sox want to be viewed as a professionally run sports franchise but look more like the kookiest cuckoo-clock factory.

"The fact is," Reinsdorf said, "this is an internal matter that we have discussed and now resolved."

Internal matter? Nothing is for such a public pro sports team trying to build a fan base.

Resolved? Only if memories of LaRoche LaMess could be exorcised from the backs of all minds.

Unlikely, don't you think?

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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