Part of the Adam LaRoche situation is resolved. He announced his retirement and the paperwork he signed was filed, meaning that he and Drake are officially off the 40-man roster. A change of heart never seemed feasible, but the procedure means that a roster spot won't get tied up in a grievance process, should one be filed.
A number of parts remain unresolved, and if Jerry Reinsdorf has his way, we won't have updates until he's able to intervene and settle the matter (at least superficially). The owner issued a gag order -- in a nice way, publicly -- so we'll see if Chris Sale joins Kenny Williams in a cease-fire. He's scheduled to make his first Cactus League start today, so he'll be in front of microphones again.
Then again, it's hard to say Williams is staying silent, himself. USA Today's Bob Nightengale -- who is tight with Williams -- wrote a report that paints the front office in a more favorable light, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that he's one of the "multiple baseball officials with direct knowledge of the Adam LaRoche brouhaha."
At any rate, it answers the accusation that LaRoche laid out in his statement. LaRoche reinforced the leak from his side in the first rumor, saying Williams banned his son from the facility. Williams initial response said that wasn't the case -- he'd asked to "dial down" Drake's presence somewhere between 0 and 50 percent of the time.
In Nightengale's story, Williams (or somebody close to him) admits that he did issue a blanket ban, but temporarily and only out of frustration:
Instead, it wasn’t until Williams heard complaints, sat down with LaRoche, and told him to scale back his son’s presence in camp. He could still come to camp and be in the clubhouse, but perhaps just half the time. Certainly, not every day.
Well, after their heart-to-heart talk, nothing changed, according to multiple people in White Sox camp.
LaRoche kept bringing his son to the ballpark every day. This went on for at least three or four days. When Williams saw Drake on the field this week, in the middle of a practice drill, standing on the pitcher’s mound, he lost it.
Williams told LaRoche that was it. He violated the privilege. No more clubhouse access.
Williams later relented, and went back to his original request, simply asking LaRoche to cut his son’s clubhouse presence to about half of the time.
That fills in that gap in a reasonable way, but it is an inconsistency in the story, which is at the heart of Sale's beef. Sale says it goes further than that, though, as he accused Williams of blaming whoever wasn't in the room at a given time.
So we'll have to see if there's a rebound leak from the LaRoche/Sale side. But if this is where it dies, then we'll learn just how much rage Sale can get away with without any kind of public response.
The good news? Just when the White Sox need him, Hawk Harrelson is as Hawk Harrelson as ever.
@SouthSideSox Hawk was on San Diego station this am and he thinks KW did this on purpose to bring team together. Called from driving range— jimduck (@jimduck) March 18, 2016
Not sure if this is officially ironic, but LaRoche's retirement opens up a spot for Jimmy Rollins, who is still on a minor-league deal. But in case any cover is needed, the White Sox also let go of Zach Phillips. He had a nice year at Charlotte in 2014 and a decent spring, and would be nice to have in the high minors again as left-handed depth.
Alas, he was out of options and blocked by Zach Duke and Dan Jennings, so the Sox met the inevitable halfway. They designated him for assignment, and he opted for free agency after the Sox outrighted him. The dream of a Duke-Phillips tandem in the bullpen dies.
And in case you missed it, the other roster spot won't be going to Justin Morneau. He's still on the market because he underwent elbow surgery in December and won't be available until midseason. That possibility made too much sense for a reason.