Friday, March 18, 2016

Family Has Value

Yesterday, Adam LaRoche unexpectedly retired after a solid baseball career. He has been a contributor at the major league level for 12 years and is a respected player. Adam wasn't a superstar, but had played solidly for several different teams. He is also a devoted father who often brought his son to the ballpark to be part of the game. This had not been an issue at any other point during his career and in fact, his son was considered the unofficial team "mascot" for his time with the Washington Nationals.

LaRoche had just finished the first year of a two year contract with the Chicago White Sox when he decided to leave the game. His retirement means he walks away from $13 million instead of playing out his contract. The main reason he chose to leave is that a senior leader in the White Sox organization asked him to keep his son away from baseball activities. With Adam knowing this was his last year no matter what, he decided he wasn't willing to spend it without his son. Instead of decreasing his family time, LaRoche chose to leave a very large sum of money on the table and walk away.

While there may be merits for both sides of this disagreement, I have to respect Adam's choice as a father. His time with his young teenage son during the last year of his playing career was too important for him to compromise. He wanted to tell his son that family was more important than finishing out a contract even if the money involved is larger than most people will make in a lifetime. Adam clearly communicated where his values were and left no doubt in his family's mind.

Am I doing that with my own family? Can they tell how much of a priority they are to me by the decisions I make? Have my actions removed any doubt about their value and how much I care? There may be times when I am better at this than others, but I pray my wife and daughters can see their importance through all of them.

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