(CBS) Former White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Adam LaRoche has further opened up about his decision to leave the White Sox in an in-depth interview with ESPN The Magazine, in which it was also revealed that he worked undercover to fight sex slavery in southeast Asia last November.
LaRoche retired in mid-March just weeks before the season started after White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams asked him to “dial back” the time that LaRoche’s 14-year-old son, Drake, spent around the team and in the clubhouse. LaRoche’s retirement led to a firestorm of controversy, with the clubhouse divided, ace Chris Sale calling Williams a liar and the story gaining national attention in regards to debate on privilege, education and children in the workplace after Drake was around the White Sox on a near-daily basis.READ MORE: Two Chicago Police Officers Wounded By Accidental Friendly Fire While Confronting Suspect In Lyons, Police Say
LaRoche admitted to ESPN The Magazine that his approach was unconventional, but he stood by it.
“I’m not saying this is the way everybody should raise their kid,” LaRoche said. “I’m saying I was given the privilege to raise my kid this way by some awesome teams and managers and GMs. Can every parent do it? No. But can we spend more time with our kids? Sure. I feel like I’ve spent as much time with Drake as you can, and if he were to die tomorrow, I guarantee you I’d be looking back and saying I wish I spent more time with him.”
Before telling his teammates in mid-March that he was retiring, LaRoche spent two days talking with good family friends about the criticism that he new would follow, notably for Drake.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Cool Changes
“I am choosing my son over you guys,” LaRoche told ESPN The Magazine of what he told his teammates. “I cannot tell you how much I hate that I’m even having to make this decision, and how much it crushes me to feel like I could be leaving you guys hanging.”
The ESPN The Magazine story’s central theme is that LaRoche is a different breed of baseball player. As an example of this, LaRoche spent 10 days in November in southeast Asian brothels “wearing a hidden camera and doing undercover work to help rescue underage sex slaves,” ESPN reported.
On the trip, LaRoche worked alongside good friend Blaine Boyer, a pitcher for the Brewers, as part of a non-profit named Exodus Road. Their job was to try to identify if the girls at the brothels were underage and who the bosses were, ESPN reported.MORE NEWS: North Side Condo Building Residents Alarmed By Mail Thefts Apparently Committed Using A Master Key
“If you make a wrong move, you’re getting tossed off a building,” Boyer told ESPN. “We were in deep, man, but that’s the way it needed to be done. Adam and I truly believe God brought us there and said, ‘This is what I have for you boys.'”