Adam LaRoche

Union ‘monitoring’ LaRoche case, no decision on grievance

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) The head of the Major League Baseball players’ union said Saturday there’s no decision yet on whether to file a grievance on behalf of Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche.

The 36-year-old LaRoche retired on Tuesday after he said he was told by the team president to cut down on clubhouse access for his 14-year-old son.

“I think what you’ve seen is everyone trying to get a feel for what happened here and what tomorrow may look like,” union chief Tony Clark said after a meeting with San Diego Padres players at spring training. “All I can tell you is we’re monitoring what’s going on.”

Clark said he’s been in contact with LaRoche, but he deflected a question of whether the union knows if LaRoche had a verbal agreement with the White Sox to allow his son, Drake, to be around the team.

Clark did say the union is interested in separate rules and policies set by clubs, especially if they violate baseball’s labor contract.

“We are interested in those, particularly when we find out about them,” Clark said. “And we’re always concerned about any individual agreement violates the collective bargaining agreement as a whole. That’s where we end up engaging in conversations where we may not otherwise, when it has the potential to affect a much larger group.”

LaRoche posted a statement to his Twitter account on Friday saying that after he signed his two-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox before the 2015 season, “we reached an agreement” that would allow his son to spend time with the team.

LaRoche said while he hit just .207 with 12 homers last season, there was never a problem with his son being around the team.

But LaRoche said White Sox executive Kenny Williams recently told him to scale back the time his son spent in the clubhouse, and later “I was told told not to bring him to the ballpark at all.”

LaRoche instead chose to retire, walking away from $13 million owed this season.

White Sox ace Chris Sale and other teammates have come to LaRoche’s defense. Sale has hung Drake’s uniform outside his locker at spring training. Sale later accused Williams of lying to the team about the reasons for the move.

Clark acknowledged “there are strong opinions” about the situation, but said the union needed to gather more information.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Alfredo Simon
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Tigers 4, Rangers 0: Alfredo Simon with the evening’s first one-hit shutout of a Texas team. He needed 116 pitches to do it, but the Rangers never got a runner past second base and were never in it. Best performance by a guy who owns an all-chrome car in baseball history.

Rays 1, Astros 0: Chris Archer not only tossed a one-hit shutout, but it was a Maddux as well, requiring only 98 pitches. Which is amazing given that he struck out 11 dudes. It’s almost like the Astros had to get to the airport to get on a plane to fly to California or something rather than have the Dodgers come in to face them tonight.

Pirates 4, Giants 0: Another shutout, this one a six-hitter and one which required three pitchers — Charlie Morton and two relievers — but a shutout all the same. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer. The Pirates gained a half game on the idle Cardinals and the Giants lost a half game on the idle Dodgers.

Rockies 3, Nationals 2: Yohan Flande allowed two runs over seven innings and also singled twice, driving in a run and scoring. Best performance by a guy named like a spy handler you meet in a cafe in Switzerland before being dropped into an operation in East Berlin in baseball history.

Twins 15, Orioles 2: Tyler Duffey took a shutout into the eighth inning, and by that time he had a two-touchdown lead. Speaking of touchdowns, I was at a bar last night that had two TVs. Both were showing the Cleveland Browns preseason game instead of baseball games which actually counted. If you elect me as president I will send bartenders who do that sort of thing to reeducation camps. This is my promise to you, my fellow Americans.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4: The Reds had a 4-0 lead after two innings and lost. I suppose I’ll make an exception regarding that reeducation camp thing for bartenders in Cincinnati who turn off Reds games in favor of Bengals preseason games. You really don’t want people who are drinking to watch something as depressing as the Reds. A.J. Pollock drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth to put the Diamondbacks over.

Indians 3, Yankees 2: Josh Tomlin, in his second start after coming back from shoulder surgery, was effective again, allowing one run over seven innings. A-Rod hit a homer for that one run. He also stole a base in the ninth as the Yankees tried to rally. Someone make sure he didn’t break a hip.

Red Sox 4, Royals 1: Wade Miley allowed one run in seven and a third innings as the Sox win their fifth of seven games since Torey Luvollo stepped in to manage. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI triple. His last nine hits have been for extra bases. Travis Shaw, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each had two hits. It’s all about the kids these days in Boston.

Marlins 9, Phillies 7: Miami scored eight runs early and held on for a 9-7 win. Martin Prado homered and drove in three and Marcell Ozuna had a two-run homer. Ozuna’s homer was a bomb that hit the top of the foul pole.

Cubs 7, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings for his major league-leading 15th win. Fun fact: not one of the outs he recored was on a fly ball: 11 grounders and seven strikeouts.

White Sox 8, Angels 2: The Sox avoid a sweep thanks to a five-run fifth inning. Adam LaRoche had an RBI single and a two-run homer. Jose Abreu drove in three. Jose Quintana allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings. That creep can roll, man.

Adam LaRoche pitched a scoreless inning of relief last night

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: Adam LaRoche #25 of the Chicago White Sox during batting practice before the game against the Houston Astros at U.S. Cellular Field on June 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago White Sox won 4-1.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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With the White Sox losing in a rout to the Yankees last night, Adam LaRoche got a chance to pitch for the first time in his major league career. And he was pretty good too, retiring the side in order.

You can watch the video here, which isn’t embeddable for some reason. LaRoche needed just 12 pitches to get through the frame. He got Stephen Drew on a pop up and John Ryan Murphy on a ground out before striking out Brendan Ryan swinging.

The Ryan at-bat was especially entertaining, as LaRoche tried to throw a “LaLob” pitch (hat-tip to Mike Ferrin for the video) in honor of his dad, former major league left-hander Dave LaRoche. It didn’t make it to the plate. However, he recovered and threw an 85 mph fastball past Ryan for the strikeout. Even Ryan had to smile through it all.

Oh, and by the way, LaRoche also had four hits. Quite a night for him.