Friday, March 18, 2016

Just ask Pete Rose, Jr.

It was one of those odd coincidences that the story of Adam LaRoche came along at the same time that we learned of the death of Frank Sinatra, Jr.  LaRoche is the baseball player who quit playing baseball - as of now - because he quit the Chicago White Sox, who were all set to back up the money truck and dump 13 million semolians on his front porch this year in return for his awesome skills (a .207 batting average last year) had the well-traveled 12-year veteran not taken his ball and bat and walked away in a huff.

Sinatra, Jr. spent all his 72 years trying to live up to the image of his father, traipsing around the country singing at music fairs and night clubs for a smidgen of the fame and reward that music brought his father.  

LaRoche is steamed because the White Sox asked him to dial back the amount of time his son spends with the ballclub. His son, Drake, 14, has his own locker and little uniform and spends day and night in the company of men two or three times his age. The club did not forbid the kid from being there, just that he be there less. Drake is said to be homeschooled, after a fashion, and it is of course indisputable that the best place to get first-hand knowledge of Thackeray, calculus and cell mitosis is at the hands of second basemen and relief pitchers.

Listen, I would have loved it if my father had been a major league baseball player and I would have jumped at the chance to spend more time around the ballyard and the clubhouse, chewing tobacco and fielding pop flies, rather than sitting in a classroom eating graham crackers and flunking pop quizzes.  That doesn't mean it would have been the best thing for me to do.

The fact is, the White Sox organization asked that young Drake limit his time with his dad because not every day is Bring Your Child To Work Day.  At some point, the parental influencing should be done at home, and while at his workplace, LaRoche the elder should concentrate on hitting and catching baseballs, and sonny boy should be doing what 14-year-olds should be doing.

And if Adam is so intent on showing his son the right path to walk, a case can be made that by setting the example of walking away from those 13 million bucks just to prove some silly point, he is showing the boy a pretty poor choice.
Grow up, both of you.

And what if every member of the White Sox started bringing their children and wives and third cousins once removed and accountants to the dugout?

Pete Rose used to bring his son Pete Rose Jr around and dress him in a little uniform too, and that did not work out well. Sinatra Jr. donned the tuxedos and toupees that were his father's uniform as well.

Here's to parents bringing their children to the workplace, showing them around, and then taking them home to a child's world while the adults do the adult thing in theirs.

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