White Sox win again; close book on LaRoche saga
Nearly a month has passed since Adam LaRoche chose son Drake's company over a second and final season with the Chicago White Sox.
After clashing with Sox vice president Kenny Williams about Drake's access in the clubhouse, Adam LaRoche announced his retirement and walked about from his $13 million salary.
Ace starter Chris Sale stood up for LaRoche and his son, unloading on Williams in the process. Adam Eaton also sided with LaRoche, and it looked like baseball's biggest spring distraction was going to take a mental toll on a Sox team coming off three straight losing seasons.
With Wednesday night's 3-0 decision over the winless Twins (0-8) at Target Field, the White Sox are off to a 6-2 start for the first time since 2005, when they won the World Series.
Picking up where he left off at the end of last season, Carlos Rodon (1-1) pitched 6 scoreless innings against Minnesota, allowing 3 hits to go with 6 strikeouts and 5 walks.
Making his first start of the season, at LaRoche's old designated hitter spot, newcomer Jerry Sands gave the Sox a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning with a 2-run homer off Twins starter Phil Hughes (0-2).
"With the LaRoche situation, that opened up a spot and here I am," Sands said on the WPWR-TV postgame show. "This year, we brought some pieces in, some high energy guys that keep it fun and keep it loose. We all like each other and we're having a good time."
Getting back to LaRoche, he gave a wide-ranging interview to ESPN the Magazine.
His decision to let 14-year-old Drake hang around a major-league baseball team instead of attending school sparked a worldwide debate.
"You can say, 'That's no place for a kid to be,'" LaRoche told ESPN. "The way I see it, he's going to be around that regardless, unless you home-school and raise them in a bubble. I can't think of a better place for him to be when he gets a taste of that than with me.
"I'm not saying this is the way everybody should raise their kid. I'm saying I was given the privilege to raise my kid this way by some awesome teams and managers and GMs. Can every parent do it? No. But can we spend more time with our kids? Sure. I feel like I've spent as much time with Drake as you can, and if he were to die tomorrow, I guarantee you I'd be looking back and saying I wish I spent more time with him."
That's an odd sentiment, and LaRoche also said he spent 10 days last November undercover in Southeast Asian brothels with Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Blaine Boyer, where they worked to rescue underage sex slaves.
LaRoche's surveillance work was news to Sox manager Robin Ventura.
"I didn't know some of what was going on with him in the off-season," Ventura told reporters. "It was news to everybody."