Adam Laroche, former Chicago White Sox star player, recently opened up about his reason for forfeiting his $13 million contract by sitting out this season, and what Adam revealed is absolutely insane. It involves world travel, sex scandals, undercover policing, family values — in other words, everything one could want in a news story.
Adam LaRoche left $13 million on the table and never looked back. For the 1st time, he tells his story. https://t.co/v1AVxfa04F— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 13, 2016
In an in-depth interview ESPN published yesterday, Laroche revealed that he spent several weeks in Southeast Asia this past offseason with Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Blaine Boyer, and the two had dedicated a lot of their time to fighting underage prostitution.
We are not talking about going to rallies or donating to charities; Adam Laroche said he had actually gone undercover, strapped on a hidden camera, and gone into the illegal brothels in an attempt to bust them. ESPN Magazine describes Laroche’s escapades as “nearly cinematic.”
Laroche revealed in the interview that the places he went and the horrible things he saw during his time undercover shook him to his core, and it did not stop after he and Boyer had finished their mission.
In a later interview he conducted with ABC, Laroche discussed his feeling as he sat at the airport, ready to fly back to the United States.
“I was sick. I was thinking about my kids and then thinking about the hundreds of thousands of parents who are searching for their 12-year-old daughters.”
And after returning to US soil, Laroche said, he was not sure he wanted to return to baseball, which then seemed like a trivial way to spend time when he could be spending it cherishing his family.
“What are we doing? We’re going back to play a game for the next eight months?” Adam recalls asking himself.
When MLB’s 2016 Spring Training rolled around, however, Adam Laroche did decide to attend camp with his Chicago White Sox — after all, who would pass up the whopping $13 million paycheck Laroche receives for each season?
Adam LaRoche walks from $13M contract with the Chicago White Sox to put "family first" https://t.co/pC1vi1T437— John Milton Wesley (@johnmwesley) March 18, 2016
Cut to March, when Adam was reprimanded by the White Sox administration for bringing his teenage son, Drake Laroche, to the clubhouse with him every day and was forbidden to bring him in the future. Adam did not take to that very well, and it prompted him to rethink his White Sox membership once again. In fact, the incident prompted Laroche to get up and make a speech in front of the rest of the organization.
“I am choosing my son over you guys,” Laroche told his assembled teammates and coaches.
“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.”
Laroche’s decision to leave the team was a very bold move, points out ESPN Radio‘s David Kaplan, because he was walking away from an 11-year career in addition to a huge sum of guaranteed money, but Laroche made it clear at the time that his decision was final, at least for this season.
Everybody assumed at the time that Laroche’s comment about choosing his son over the team was in direct reference to the White Sox ban on Drake accompanying his dad to the clubhouse, but Adam’s ESPN interview has now revealed what he really meant.
True to his word, Laroche has been spending all the time he can with his family now that he has more free time, including organizing a months-long RV trip that the Laroche fam will depart on in a couple of days.
It is anyone’s guess whether Laroche will return to the MLB at some point in the future or if the Adam Laroche hiatus will become a permanent retirement. No matter what happens, though, one can be sure that Adam will never forget the lessons he learned as an undercover sex cop.
Perhaps Blaine Boyer, Laroche’s travel partner, did the best job of summing up the trip’s profound impact on the two.
“Something huge happened there for us. You can’t explain it. Can’t put your finger on it… Adam and I truly believe God brought us there and said, ‘This is what I have for you boys.’”
Are you hoping for an Adam Laroche return? Let us know in the comments section!
[Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images]