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.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.