(CBS) Former White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins had some sharp words Wednesday in explaining how the team’s 2016 season spiraled out of control following the Adam LaRoche retirement drama.
Now with the Giants, Rollins reflected on his brief tenure with the White Sox, which lasted about fourth months in 2016, from his February signing to being designated for assignment in early June. Shortly after joining the White Sox, former designated hitter LaRoche abruptly announced his retirement after executive vice president Kenny Williams told him to reduce the amount of time his teenage son, Drake, spent in the clubhouse. It led to a fracture in the White Sox clubhouse, with ace left-hander Chris Sale — since traded to the Red Sox — calling Williams a liar.
“It was a clubhouse in disarray after that point, although we did great, we did great (early on),” Rollins told Courtney Cronin of the Bay Area News Group. “It was just, you know, there’s always a little players-versus-the front office (mindset), but I think just because of the way it was handled that a lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there. They’re in better places if you ask me, but they’re no longer there.”
Rollins was highly confused as the LaRoche drama began to unfold.
“The funny part was like when Adam came in, I had just went to the bathroom,” Rollins said. “So I didn’t hear anything, and I came out, and they’re like, ‘He’s retiring.’ I’m like, ‘Why is everybody do sad?’ You celebrate a guy retiring.’ He had a great career, and he made his decision. Then I found out why, and then chaos.
“We don’t have to worry about that here.”
The White Sox started the 2016 season 23-10 before fading and not contending for a playoff spot. They’ve since embarked on a full-scale rebuild, which included the trade of Sale to the Red Sox and outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals.