Following the White Sox on various social media channels, I hadn't been able to quite deduce how Adam LaRoche's 13-year-old son, Drake, is able to spend so much time around the Sox, whether spring training, at home or on occasional road trips.
Colleen Kane filled in a lot of gaps with her Father's Day profile of the LaRoches. The White Sox' designated hitter is doing for his son what his father, Dave, did for him and his baseball-playing brother Andy, but to an even greater degree.
"This was our lifestyle, bouncing house to house, different Little League teams, seeing him week on and week off," LaRoche said. "But one thing really cool, and one of the many things I learned from my dad, is that the weeks on, when he was home, he spent as much time with us as possible. That's part of the motivation in bringing Drake in as much as I do."
The logistics with Adam and Drake LaRoche are something:
LaRoche's wife, Jenn, makes it possible by organizing a complicated schedule that includes the Sox's travel, Drake and Montana's schooling and youth baseball and softball games between the families' homes in the Chicago area and Kansas. Drake skips some Sox home games for his own baseball games, and the family often travels back to Kansas when they don't go on trips with their dad.
The children go to their local school in Kansas when they're at home, but the family has an arrangement with the school to take weeks worth of homework with them when they're on the road. "It's a little harder not being with all the teachers, but I can get by," Drake said.
Kane talks to the young dads in the clubhouse -- Conor Gillaspie and Carlos Sanchez -- and they're impressed by how they make time, and how Drake seems to know his role. At any rate, it answered a lot of questions for me, and it's worth your while.
Along the same lines, Scott Merkin talked to Jose Abreu about how he handles fatherhood from afar, as his 5-year-old son, Dariel, is still in Cuba. It's pretty remarkable how much Abreu has opened up in under two years:
Dariel lives with his mom in Abreu's house from the time when he was a standout player for Cienfuegos in Cuba. Baseball is not exactly his son's present focus, as when one of Abreu's friends in Cuba compiled a highlight reel of a recent week's actions, Dariel didn't have a great deal of interest.
"I don't think he's going to be a baseball player," a smiling Abreu said. "I think he's going to be a car mechanic. The most important thing for me is that he can be in good health and the best person possible and grow up like a good person."
An awkward undercurrent hampers next month's 2005 World Series 10-year reunion -- partially because players from the team are still active, but more because this year's club seems, looks and sounds so far removed from its former glory. Credit Jerry Reinsdorf for not mincing words.
For those afraid that the 2015 White Sox are a one-shot debacle, Tyler Kepner points to the Blue Jays, whose dramatic offseason overhaul two winters ago didn't change their sub-.500 fortunes the following summer. However, a follow-up winter of targeted additions now has them in playoff contention.
Ben Badler says 10 teams could be in the international bonus pool penalty box by the time the 2016-17 signing period rolls around. If the White Sox continue to own one of the league's worst records, they could be in a position to strike:
The Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs—four big-market teams that spend aggressively overseas—will be penalized. The 2016-17 bonus pools are determined based on reverse order of 2015 major league records. There’s very little spread at the bottom of the pools—the bottom 10 teams’ pools range from $1.97 million to $2.13 million—so only the teams with the worst 2015 records have a significant pool advantage. [...]
The Phillies, who are likely to stay in the cellar, might not be able to sign anyone for more than $300,000. The Red Sox are already penalized. The Athletics are the cheapest team in Latin America and didn’t spend more than $1 million total on all of their international signings last year. The Marlins never sign anyone these days for more than $1 million. So right away, the teams with four of the top five bonus pools won’t be factors for seven-figure players.
Tyler Flowers went there:
"If he can hone in the command, which has gotten a whole lot better, then we’ll have two [Chris] Sales," Flowers said. [...]
"The funny and scary thing is he can get a lot better, too," Flowers said, obviously not afraid to hold back. "His stuff is that good where he’s able to get by with missing some spots here and there."
- Pablo Sandoval benched for Instagram creepin' during in-game poopin' - SBNation.com
- The Red Sox are awful. What should they do? - SBNation.com
- Red Sox need to dump Sandoval, Ramirez, like, now | FOX Sports
If you're trying to think of ways to solve the White Sox' third base conundrum, the Red Sox might have some possibilities -- even after the overreaction to Pablo Sandoval's Instagram-on-toilet-during-game exploits die down.
The Mariners are taking a page out of the Royals' playbook and trying to solve their offensive woes by hiring an all-time great as a midseason hitting coach. Ken Rosenthal pointed out that Zdurenciek has hired three managers and six hitting coaches during his tenure.
In a trade that baffled just about everybody on the outside, the Diamondbacks effectively sold well-regarded pitching prospect Touki Toussaint to the Braves for $10 million (trading the injured Bronson Arroyo's contract for injured infielder Phil Gosselin). The only conclusion is that the Diamondbacks went overboard with international signings, and had to trim payroll, but it's a weird way to do it:
The D-Backs sold Touki Toussaint for $10 million, five months after paying $16 million (with tax) for Yoan Lopez, who is not as good.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) June 21, 2015
I finally had 23 minutes to watch Jon Bois' third documentary, and it's worth it. I knew Lonnie Smith was clumsy because he was pigeon-toed, and I knew he had the baserunning gaffe in the 1991 World Series. I didn't know about the extent of his cocaine use or his legitimate desire to shoot John Schuerholz.