PHOENIX (KSAZ) - When Chicago White Sox fans arrived in the Valley for spring training, they probably didn't expect the kind of controversy that would unfold at Camelback Ranch. First baseman Adam Laroche decided to walk away from the game this week because of his 14-year-old son. The boy was hanging around a little too much according to the team's president.
The action has turned into a conversation that goes far beyond the baseball diamond. On one side this is a job, a profession, a major league career that deserves undivided attention. On the other side, it is family and to most that is the most important thing in life, and fans say they're caught in the middle.
"You're playing a world title, you don't want any distractions it's understandable, but I think family first and foremost," said Erik Andersen.
Family first, that is how Adam Laroche ended his law Tweet after announcing his plans to retire. The announcement followed a request from team management to scale back on-field visits from his teenage son Drake.
"You're only young once, and for him to turn down $13 million to spend more time with his family? I think kudos to him," said Brent Clark.
While many fans are standing by the decision, others believe it was time for the player to move on, kid controversy aside.
"They need to concentrate on winning, and I think he made the right decision because last year he wasn't really all there, and you know it'll help the team in the long run saving that salary, so I'm happy about it," said Jim Lareau.
And even though you cannot put a price tag on love, fans say walking away from a $13 million paycheck cannot be easy.
"A little tough, just a little tough, I can't say I'd do the same, but respect to him, power to him being a family guy," said Joseph Mandros.
White Sox President Ken Williams told FOX Sports he said to Laroche "Our focus, our desire this year is to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity to focus on getting better. All I'm asking you do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back."