By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — The Adam LaRoche retirement story has taken an uglier turn than anyone could ever imagine.READ MORE: Elderly Cab Driver Shot In Roseland Carjacking
Players confirmed Friday that White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams told the players that there was a complaint about LaRoche’s 14-year-old son, Drake, constantly being in the clubhouse. Ace left-hander Chris Sale said Williams lied to him about the complaints about Drake.
“When there is a problem, you get right to the source and find out what it is ” Sale said with a determination of will. “We have been told three different stories. We don’t know what avenue to go down or who to believe. We aren’t even sure who to believe in where the (complaint) came from.
“At first, it was the players that said something. Then it was the coaches that said something. Now, it’s the owner that said something. Now we are just as confused as you guys.”
While Sale was talking to the media, a jersey of the younger LaRoche was hanging from his locker. It was autographed to Sale, reading, “Thanks for being my friend and taking care of me.”
“I know you guys are looking at me like I have 17 eyes,” Sale said. “I am not saying anything that isn’t the truth. I have no reason to. There is no reason for me to lie about something that I witnessed and was a part of.”
Asked where Williams stands in the eyes of the players, Sale replied: “We don’t need to get into that. I am not here to be disrespectful to anyone or call names. I am here to state the facts, (and) you guys got them.”
Williams responded with a statement through the White Sox.READ MORE: Belmont Cragin Carjacking Leads To Fiery Crash, Multiple Other Parked Cars Struck
“While I disagree with Chris’s assertions today, I certainly have always appreciated his passion,” Williams said.
Sale’s looking forward to a meeting with team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to clear the air. One player said the owner will talk to the players in the next couple of days.
“That is the ultimate goal — to talk with him ” Sale said. “We want to speak to someone with a level head. We need to find some common ground and see where this (complaint) came from. Jerry is a very understanding person. I think if we can get to him and speak to him and actually have an adult conversation, I think we will be able to figure some things out and iron out the creases.”
Sale believes he must stand up against Williams on this issue until the real reason for the Drake LaRoche exile is known.
“I believe so,” Sale said. “That is the position I am in. I have to speak for the people who don’t have voices. I must speak for my teammates now and my teammates in the future. This is something for the well-being of the White Sox. This could have a lasting impression for years to come. This could effect future teams. I am not a fan of that. I think if we are truly trying to win a championship, there is no room for this kind of stuff.
“We have a lot respect for (manager Robin Ventura) and a lot of respect for (general manager Rick Hahn). We just don’t have room for outside distractions. I don’t think anybody has any problems with anyone else in the organization. It shouldn’t be about being to make rules just to make rules.”
The players’ association has been contacted by White Sox players.
“We reached out to the union,” said Adam Eaton, one of the team’s representatives to the union. “We have been in talks with the union. I told them everything I know. They have reached out to LaRoche. I am not a lawyer, but they are definitely looking into it.”
Eaton told CBSChicago.com that to the best of his knowledge, the contract LaRoche signed clearly stated that Drake LaRoche had clubhouse rights.MORE NEWS: CPD: Woman Accidentally Shot, Killed By Boyfriend In McKinley Park
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.