He did what…? (19th Hole—Tap Room discussion)

I don’t know where you live or what your weather conditions are, but here in Chicago it’s almost golf season again and I can hardly wait.  The air is getting warmer, the grass greener and the days longer.  We’re two days shy of spring and the clubs, I swear, are screaming for fresh air and smooth as velvet fairway turf.  Can you tell I’m suffering from cabin fever?  Not for long!  Soon I’ll be getting in my first round of the new season with a good friend—one who will not laugh as I shake off the stiffness that the winter brings.  I envision we’ll get in a pleasant 18 and then head to the club taproom for some long over due “guy talk.”

2chi-adam-laroche-white-sox-photos-028

Because we live in the Chicago area I am sure the conversation will contain some portion of talk of what’s going on in spring training with our beloved White Sox and Cubs.  (Yes I took my life in my hands and mentioned both teams positively in the same sentence.) Well, you can’t talk about the Sox without giving a nod to what is going on with the Adam LaRoche situation. Those of you who follow Major League Baseball know that for the past few days there has been a firestorm of controversy brewing in the clubhouse of the Chicago White Sox.

There are many lenses through which one could view this chain of events. But, the one I find most poignant and powerful, at the moment, is that of LaRoche (Senior) who posted an explanation of his decision on twitter (Friday March 18, 2016).  Portions of his explanation are posted below:

“…Over the past five years with both the Nationals and the White Sox, I have been given the opportunity to have my son with me in the clubhouse.  It is a privilege I have greatly valued.  I have never taken it for granted, and feel an enormous amount of gratitude toward both of those organizations…

…Though I clearly indicated to both teams the importance of having my son with me, I also made clear that if there ever was a moment when a teammate, coach or manager was made to feel uncomfortable, then I would immediately address it.  I realize that this is their office, and their career, and it would not be fair to the team if anybody in the clubhouse was unhappy with the situation. Fortunately that problem never developed…

…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.  After some due diligence on the club’s part we reached an agreement.  The 2015 season presented no problems as far as Drake was concerned.  (My bat and our record are another story!)…

…with all of this in mind, we move toward 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. Obviously I expressed my displeasure to this decision to alter the agreement we had reached before I signed with the White Sox.  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…

…My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams…

…I understand that many people will not understand my decision. I respect that, and all I ask is for the same level of respect in return.  I live by a certain set of values that are rooted in my faith, and I am grateful to my parents for that.  I have tried to set a good example on and off the field and live a life that represents these values.  As fathers we have the opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can’t be shaken by the world around them.  Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around…

…Baseball has taught me countless life lessons.  I’ve learned how to face challenges, how to overcome failure, how to maintain humility, and most importantly, to trust that the lord is in control and that I was put here to do more than play the game of baseball. We are called to live life with an unwavering love for God and for each other.  These are lessons I try to teach my kids every day…

…Thank you to all of my previous managers, past teammates and friends across the league for making these past 12 years such a wonderful journey,  and providing me with memories I will never forget–especially the ones with my son by my side…

…I will leave you with the same advice I left my teammates.  In life we are all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make.  Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.

Adam”

I so respect the choice that  Mr. LaRoche  made.  He stands tall in my book. He had the courage and conviction to put his conscience over his checkbook—$13,000,000 plus the earnings potential in future years. I am confident that on into eternity he will not regret that decision nor will his kids.

We are all challenged to respond to the same question.  Who/what will be the primary adviser in my life decisions—what will be the voice I listen to? Will it be:

  • my convenience?
  • my comfort?
  • my checkbook?
  • my pleasure?
  • my politics?
  • my friends?
  • my lifestyle?

Or

  • My Maker

Thanks Adam for being a great model to follow.

 

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