Adam Laroche, first baseman for the Chicago White Sox, until a few days ago, has a contract that would pay him $13 million for another year’s worth of baseball. But on March 16, 2016, White Sox team president Ken Williams reportedly told LaRoche that he needed to quit bringing his son with him to the ballpark every day, presumably thinking LaRoche’s 14 year old son, Drake, had become a distraction.
That obviously didn’t go over well with LaRoche and he decided that his time with his son was more important to him than another dollar, or in this case 13 million of them. And so he quit, shocking the sports world and causing debate all over America about kids in the workplace, family values, priorities. I see both sides, but in the end I am in awe of Adam Laroche for taking such a courageous stand and letting the money go. I think what the White Sox missed is that baseball is a game that starts with a Dad playing catch with his son. That is the very foundation of baseball. It evolve into families spending time together at games. I’m sure there is deep regret by the White Sox over the handling of this issue but I’m afraid they are going to find that this is going to be the biggest storm they’ve had to weather since the “Black Sox” scandal of the 1919 world series.
You might wonder what that has to do with outdoor related legal issues. Well, Adam LaRoche has a reputation for being a very dedicated outdoorsman, but that’s not quite it. The real issue is that LaRoche just embodied what all the outdoorsmen I know are all about, family and friends. Hunters, fishermen and outdoorsy people of all shapes and kind know instinctively – that your living is not your life, its just the way you make enough money to take care of your family and hopefully have enough money left over to take your kids hunting and fishing.
The family and friends that you spend time with in the outdoors make it memorable and nostalgic, way more than the number of ducks, or size of the deer. If you make enough to take care of your family, and can afford to spend time with them in the great outdoors, then you’re making a very good living in my book. So I tip my camo hat to Mr. Laroche for doing what a whole lot of people would love to do – tell their boss that nothing is more important than family and they can shove it if you don’t see it that way. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s already a multi-millionaire athlete with the ability to make a statement like that. Still, way to go Adam.
Here’s a few recommendations to make your Springtime a little more memorable:
- Take some kids fishing this spring, some that won’t otherwise get that opportunity. A whole lot of boys and girls would love to have someone show them how and where to fish, but will never get that chance.
- Make some extra time to try turkey hunting. The sound of a turkey gobbling is a thrill that must be experienced by all.
- Leave work early and take your family to the outdoors for a picnic, regardless of how old they are.
- Buy a bird feeder for your backyard and enjoy the show.
- And the next time your boss tells you to work late and skip your fishing trip, tell him “go *#*$&!^” — on second thought, better study on that for awhile unless you have a whole lot of money saved up.