Retiring Ross, Cubs weigh in on kids in clubhouse

Retiring Ross, Cubs weigh in on kids in clubhouse

MESA, Ariz. -- One of the reasons David Ross is retiring at the end of the season is to spend more time with his family, and having his 6-year-old son, Cole, in the Cubs' clubhouse the past two days has been special. Ross also recalls being on teams when there were too many children in the clubhouse.

The veteran catcher said he understands a team's decision to not allow children in the clubhouse, a hot topic in the wake of Adam LaRoche's situation. LaRoche has reportedly retired after balking at the White Sox's request for him to reduce the amount of time his 14-year-old son, Drake, is in the clubhouse.

"I feel bad for both sides," Ross said Thursday. "It's great to bring your kids to work. I've had my son here the last two days, and I cherish that. I don't take it for granted, and it's a special thing.

"It is a game, but it's also a workplace. My family is way more important than my job, for me personally. Sometimes you have to make decisions about your values, your core values. I think Adam made his decisions on what his core values were, and what's important to him in life. More power to him. The White Sox are running a business, and it is a workplace. They make the rules; we don't make the rules. If I made the rules, this would be a crazy place here."

Ross and LaRoche were teammates briefly in 2009 in Atlanta, and he recalled getting a ride home with the first baseman after a game. LaRoche had his two young sons in the backseat of the car.

What's difficult for Ross to understand is why the White Sox made the decision now.

"If I had a year under my belt with an organization, and my son was allowed in and all of a sudden he wasn't, I'd have a problem with it for sure," Ross said. "I'd want to know why. If there was maybe a complaint from a teammate, maybe I could find a common ground."

Anthony Rizzo showed his support for LaRoche on Twitter, posting, "With what us baseball players do for a living can never be taken for granted. With that being said family comes before everything."

This is LaRoche's second season with the White Sox. Last year, he batted .207 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs in 127 games.

"I don't think it would have been an issue if he drove in 100 [runs] and hit 25 [home runs]," Rizzo said Thursday.

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero has had his son out for practice a couple times this spring. Colton Hyde, son of Cubs first-base coach Brandon Hyde who will turn 8 years old on Friday, is "like a team mascot," Ross said.

Pitcher Adam Warren said children were allowed in the Yankees' clubhouse, and it didn't seem to be an issue.

"I think as long as you're able to get your work in, I really don't care personally if the kids are in here," said Warren, who does not have any children. "I love seeing the kids in here, because I can see myself having a son one day in here, looking up to their dad. I think that's really neat. I know what kind of dad I want to be when I have kids. I want to be very involved with them."

As for the Cubs' policy, Joe Maddon said the players will decide when they meet with the manager on Sunday. It'll be a meeting of selected veteran players -- whom Maddon has dubbed the "lead bulls" -- and they will establish the ground rules. Maddon noted he's looking into getting a pet bird, possibly a cockatoo or a parrot. He would like a "social" bird, too.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.