Monday, March 21, 2016

Adam LaRoche, Or Fungible Family First

Father of the Year (Just Ask Him)
By now, I'm sure you've heard the story about retired ChiSox Adam LaRoche, who had all he can stands, and can stands no more, about his employer suddenly not wanting to provide constant day care for his 14-year-old son.

It staggers the imagination, really, that a guy making an eight figure salary for not doing his job very well, at the tail end of his very finite career, would do anything more than be as pleasant as humanly possible to his co-workers and management, right?

Adam LaRoche is not a very good baseball player. He's not even a very average baseball player now. You could make an argument that he belongs in the majors, but it's not a terribly convincing one, and it's not as if anyone made their decision to go to the park or not based on LaRoche's participation.

Even in his heyday, the guys was a take or leave presence in fantasy leagues, not a factor in All Star or playoffs, and when you wear six jerseys in twelve years while amassing 255 homers as a first baseman, that's just kind of, well, meh. He hit .260 and got on base .335 and was worth more than 2.2 Wins Above Replacement Player exactly once in those 12 years. If he gets a single vote for Cooperstown, it will be one vote too many.

For these efforts, he grossed about $72 million. Had he kept his mouth shut and/or let his 14-year-old hang out with other 14-year-olds until October, when the ChiSox will be free to golf with abandon, it would have been $82 million. Which might eventually matter, but leave that as it may.

I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but I was not the smartest person in my school. I might have hung out with them, though, and something great might have happened by that act. I might have gotten a lot further than I otherwise would have, simply by being dragged along in their wake. Maybe I also had that effect on others, I don't know. But for a kid from a family where no one had ever been to college, to get those degrees wasn't a given. I did it because I became convinced that I had to, because my peer group did, and it was important to me to be like them.

When you home school, as LaRoche does, and how much schooling can there be, really, given how much time he spends on Papa's hip, maybe it's the best thing for the kid or your family... but it's a very open question as to whether it's the best thing for our country. It also makes everyone who wants to, well, let their kid be a kid with other kids wonder if they are, in fact, Doing It Wrong, and would be doing it better if they only made more money, or made their workplace less about, well, work.

Adam LaRoche is not about putting family first. He's about raising a kid as a kind of support animal, controlling his work environment through the introduction of elements that are Not Baseball, and being as self-righteous as humanly possible. The White Sox don't look great for how they've handled this, mostly because they haven't managed it from becoming a PR debacle, but if they are really a lesser team for not having this dead-ender around, their year was lost already.

So, a quick and sincere question for Adam LaRoche, a guy who is no longer a baseball player, and hence, is no longer anyone who needs to answer questions about anything, because who the hell cares about random rich douchebags with odd ideas about parenting...

Why do you hate America with your love for your family?

And as a follow-up...

If eight figures of income aren't worth seven part-time months of your life as a parent to your son...

Where the hell is your daughter during all of this, or do only sons matter to fine, upstanding religious folk like yourself?

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