Did you ever accompany your father on a Take Your Child to Work Day? It was probably fun, and you were glad when it was over. After all, there is a difference between childhood and adulthood. If not, we'd have briefcases in our cribs.
In the aftermath, many have lauded the player,
That's wrong. You'd be hard-pressed to name any company that allows a 14-year-old to accompany Dad to work every day, let alone one that actually gave the kid his own locker, his own jersey and dubbed him "the 26th man."
This was the
But for some reason, a few weeks ago -- and this is where it gets murky -- they asked LaRoche to cut back his son Drake's appearances, which had included being on the field and in the dugout.
At which point, with one year and
"I understand that many people will not understand my decision," LaRoche wrote in a Twitter post. "I respect that, and all I ask is for that same level of respect in return."
Had he stopped there, it would have been perfect. But LaRoche continued: "I live by certain values that are rooted in my faith. ... As fathers, we have an opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can't be shaken by the world around them. Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around."
That kicked the issue into the hot zone. By citing "my faith," LaRoche ignited voices in the religious community. In citing morals and values by the outside world, he suggested forces around him were corruptive. And by putting in the part about regrets, he suggested, even inadvertently, that people who leave their teens when they work are somehow sacrificing critical parenting hours.
We should remind LaRoche that long before baseball players earned so much money they could walk away from
You might also argue that bringing a kid into a major league locker room is hardly responsible parenting, given what I've witnessed in clubhouses the last 30 years. On what planet -- beside the "I want my kid to be a pro athlete" world -- is a room full of indulged millionaires a great environment for growing up? I'll spare you details of adult language, foul jokes, chewing tobacco and sexual references. Use your imagination.
Oh. And what about school? Three years ago, when his then-11-year-old son was hanging around the
Now, none of this is about the kid himself. The fact that
This is about policy -- which workplaces are entitled to set. Otherwise, what stops all 25
Instead, LaRoche left as if falling on a sword, his son autographed a farewell jersey, and
A 14-year-old is leading them? That actually explains a lot. Quitting isn't childish. Finger-pointing is.