Adam Laroche and a Clubhouse Education
I know it seems like the Adam Laroche saga has wrapped up, but I still need one thing made clear to me. Before that, let’s put out everything that is clear and should be pretty well agreed upon:
- No child should be allowed in a professional workspace 100% of the time and Kenny Williams’ decision to limit Laroche’s son’s time to 50% was more than reasonable;
- If Laroche was going to let this fiasco end his career, then surely his heart was no longer in it and it was time for him to go;
- The hashtag #familyfirst was, for lack of a better word, stupid. Because it implies, had Laroche decided to listen to his boss’s very reasonable decision, thereby allowing his son (Drake) in the clubhouse only 50% of the time, he would have then put his career ahead of his family. And of course, had Laroche decided to continue his career, he would not have cared for or loved his family any less. Sometimes rules are just rules; and
- Chris Sale just doesn’t like Kenny Williams. As I’ve outlined above, Williams' decision was fair and appropriate, anyone who would go out and trash him for how he dealt with this situation, just doesn’t like him. And sometimes people just don’t like other people, and that’s ok, but usually if you don’t like your boss, you talk smack about him behind his back like a normal person. But I guess if you’re 6’6’’, left handed and sit at 97 MPH, rules are different for you and you feel comfortable going on national television and saying things like “this is us rebelling against BS.” And “we got bold faced lied to” and “that guy sucks a ton of ass.” Ok so I made the last one up but you get the point.
Now let’s get back to the real issue. There is only one thing we need to be talking about right now: WHY ISN’T DRAKE LAROCHE IN SCHOOL? I mean am I crazy? (Hint: of course not.) Well actually I know why: it’s because as father Laroche so eloquently said in a 2013 interview, “we’re not big on school.” Oh hey that’s cool, you know I’m not big on going to the store and having to pay for the product I want, but I always do because if I didn’t, that would be stealing which is AGAINST THE LAW. I also hate having to wear any clothes in public during the summer because it’s so damn hot out, but I always make sure to leave the house with at least shorts on because IT’S THE LAW.
And when I was a kid, I also didn’t want to go to school because of homework and the whole having to be accountable for things, but I went because IT’S THE LAW. Also maybe because my parents had this strange parenting philosophy that a quality education is the most important thing you can give to a child. If you think that’s crazy you should hear the other shenanigans I had to put up with as a kid.
Laroche continued his brilliance in his 2013 interview by saying: “[h]e’s going to learn a lot more useful information in the clubhouse than he will in the classroom, as far as life lessons.”
Wait what? Yes, apparently Adam Laroche actually believes being in a clubhouse full of rich, sweaty men all day is more educational than going to school. Unfortunately, I have never been in an MLB clubhouse before, but I have been in many other locker rooms with all different types of teammates and I have to admit, while it’s a lot of fun, not a lot of life lessons going around. What there are is a lot of farting, being naked, towel whipping, inappropriate jokes, constant swearing and vulgar language, guys ragging on each other all in good fun and then more inappropriate jokes.
Don’t get me wrong, in a good clubhouse it’s a bunch of best friends hanging out and being themselves which is a great time. Not to mention, anyone can learn a lot playing a sport. It teaches the importance of a good work ethic, commitment, being there for your teammates, dealing with failure, pushing yourself to your limits and humility to name a few. I have played competitive baseball at a high level my whole life and I am grateful to have learned all these great lessons and undoubtedly I’m a better person because of it. But here’s something crazy for you. (Adam this part’s for you.) I was also able to round out my education by simultaneously going to class and attending school.
But hey, perhaps the White Sox clubhouse is different from all other clubhouses and they do offer a more well rounded education with even more life lessons than all the rest.
Let's all take a moment and imagine Jose Abreu’s weekly seminar which I assume would be titled something like: “Life lessons with Jose, this week, mashing baseballs is fun!” And if you can ask Jose to let you out early, you can rush over to catch Chris Sale’s workshop: “How to deal with a boss you don’t like.” Adam Laroche: What the fuck are you saying? Oh I apologize for swearing, I forgot I was writing an article and not hanging out in the locker room with my teammates.
So get this: apparently, Drake attends school in Kansas for the winter but when baseball season arrives, he begins his clubhouse education. Now keep in mind, players reported to camp this year as early as February 17th and the regular season extends until approximately October 1st unless they make the playoffs which could mean as long as November 1st. So quick math tells us Drake misses a minimum of five and a half months of school and is able to attend around three months.
Apparently Drake sends in some homework, takes the occasional standardized test and somehow the school allows this behavior. It’s safe to assume the school would allow this type of treatment for any student whether his parent made $13 million a year or not. Come on people, don’t go questioning the morals of the school's leadership, surely it knows more than I do about the value of a clubhouse education.
And for every big leaguer who tweeted with the hashtag, #familyfirst, shame on you. There is too much pressure on celebrities to be amazing role models because they are just people with as many flaws as anyone else. However, the bare minimum they can say is: “stay in school.” The hashtag should have been, #educationfirst.
All jokes aside, what is happening here is illegal and more importantly, Adam Laroche is doing his son a disservice. There is a reason this is a law, a proper education is the best thing you can give your child. I have no doubts Adam loves his son and I believe he would do what he felt was in the best interest of his son. But he is wrong. Plain and simple.
No doubt Drake wants to grow up and be a big leaguer just like his father. Who doesn’t? But having a big league father or not, becoming a big leaguer is far from a guarantee. This isn’t some desk job where your dad can make a call and boom you get it. Either you can play or you can’t, your father's name doesn't matter. Drake Laroche should be in school so he can receive a proper education. Actually, because his parents can afford a nice private education, he should be in school receiving an excellent education that so many other parents only dream they could give their child.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to run to catch Jose Abreu’s seminar titled, “Life Lessons with Jose, this week, Mashing Baseballs is still super fun.” He gets pissy when I’m late.