For a franchise used to flying under the radar, the White Sox have found themselves in the midst of a ridiculous maelstrom that has set the baseball world on fire and even snared national headlines this week. Grown accustomed to their distant second-place status in the Second City behind the Cubs, the Sox have looked completely unprepared to deal with the fallout from Adam LaRoche‘s abrupt retirement after his son Drake was banned from the clubhouse and all team activities.
Strong arguments can be made for and against management or LaRoche, but regardless of which side was right or wrong, it all started when someone complained about the constant presence of a 14-year old kid in the clubhouse. The central question remains unanswered: Who hates Drake?
Myriad theories abound on sports talk radio and in print, ranging from the reasonably plausible to the most insane tin-hat conspiracy theories imaginable. Let’s take a look at the usual suspects in this most unusual mess.
Executive Vice President, Kenny Williams has been vilified—fairly and unfairly—in the mediocre years following the 2005 championship. His massive ego and acid tongue have led to feuds with players and managers alike, making him a punching bag for many Sox fans. So it would make sense to many that Kenny would come down from his castle to stick his nose into clubhouse business where it doesn’t necessarily belong. But was Kenny acting unilaterally or just taking the bullet to cover for a player (or players), management, or ownership? This is where thing get really interesting and sometimes ugly.
Did a newcomer like Todd Frazier or Brett Lawrie enter the strange scene and feel compelled to ask what’s up with this kid here all the time? It may have been as simple as one (or both) of them, with an outsider’s perspective, asking a logical question to spark the chain of events that led to the controversy.
We only have to look at the current political shit show to see how convenient it is to blame immigrants for all of society’s ills. Some idiot talk show callers have even questioned whether Cuban exile, Jose Abreu may have been jealous of LaRoche, seeing his inferior teammate’s son with him everyday while his entire family is sequestered a world away. Ludicrous.
The Reluctant Manager
Robin Ventura has never acted like he really wanted the job and has looked more like Dante Hicks from Clerks (“I’m not even supposed to be here today!“) than a Major League manager during his tenure as leader of the clubhouse. If he was fed up with the LaRoche situation, he may have opted spinelessly to go up the chain to voice his frustration instead of dealing with it directly and risk alienating his clubhouse.
Whether he had anything to do with it or not, one thing has become abundantly clear in this entire fiasco: Rick Hahn definitely DOES NOT wear the pants in the White Sox family. Kenny has consistently stepped all over Hahn’s dick with past comments like “…at the end of the day, everything falls on my desk. I hired the manager. I hired the general manager.” Williams taking center stage in this latest crisis only solidifies Hahn’s figurehead status.
The Puppet Master
Has owner Jerry Reinsdorf played everyone like a wicked puppet master manipulating strings to masterfully orchestrate the entire situation just to put LaRoche’s $13M salary back in his own ample pocket? Diabolical!
The Double Agent
I saved my favorite for last. How fucking baller would Chris Sale be if he actually pulled the evil genius move of making the complaint, then brilliantly covering his tracks by launching his scorched-earth assault against management? His red-assed meathead behavior in the past suggests otherwise, but it’s fun to think about.
Regardless of who it was , the truth is somebody didn’t like Drake being there. As long as the question remains unanswered the organization will remain fractured over this stupid debacle that should’ve been handled internally and never come to public light.