Adam Laroche speaks of “a fundamental disagreement” with Ken Williams

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Adam LaRoche just issued a statement about his retirement and the controversy surrounding it, him, his son Drake LaRoche and the Chicago White Sox. The full statement can read here. The short version: he feels that Ken Williams did him dirty.

LaRoche said he and the Sox had an agreement that Drake could be in the clubhouse. He doesn’t say how often or whether the agreement was reduced to writing. He did say that both in Washington and in Chicago, he “made clear that if there was ever a moment when a teammate, coach or manager was made to feel uncomfortable, then [he] would immediately address it.” LaRoche said that he realized “that this is their office and their career, and it would not be fair to the team if anybody in the clubhouse was unhappy with the situation. Fortunately, that problem never developed.”

LaRoche said everything was fine until Ken Williams approached him and “advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse. Later, I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all.” This explains the initial report from Ken Rosenthal that Drake LaRoche was “barred” from the clubhouse. It was later walked back, by Ken Williams it should be noted, to be merely a scaling-back of his presence.

LaRoche concludes by saying that the decision to choose between his career and his family was “easy,” and that “in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf.” No Ken Williams mentioned there, notably.

After some broad words about the importance of his family and the importance of parents spending as much time with their children as they can, he concludes:

I will leave you with the same advice that I left my teammates. In life, we’re all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make. Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.

The ball is in Ken Williams’ court, it would seem. And in the court of anyone who set this process in motion beyond him.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.