JUPITER, Fla. -- If any of the Tigers' players want to have their sons hang out in the clubhouse, that's just fine, for the most part, with manager Brad Ausmus.
Ausmus briefly addressed the topic on Friday, which has generated some controversy this week after Adam LaRoche unexpectedly retired after the White Sox requested that he dial back the amount of time his 14-year-old son was spending around the team's clubhouse.
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Ausmus, speaking with reporters prior to the Tigers' 2-0 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium, said he appreciates the time that any father would want to spend with their children, particularly those who are professional athletes and away from home so often..
"My feeling is baseball is a difficult game for families, including wives," Ausmus said. "Fathers are gone a lot. Generally speaking, I encourage guys to have their sons around."
Ausmus said, however, that there needs to be some limitations when it comes to visitors, including children, in the clubhouse.
"You can't have just anybody in the clubhouse, but when you're talking about a father or brother or son, that's the one time I tell the guys that they don't really need to let me know," Ausmus said of the rules invoked in the Tigers' clubhouse. "If it's your father or your brother or your son, feel free to bring them."
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Ausmus said the Tigers don't allow kids in the clubhouse during games, only pregame up to when batting practice ends and after the clubhouse opens following a game. He said that his players don't abuse his leniency regarding clubhouse visitors, and that many days there are no kids or family in the clubhouse.
"I understand that you're gone so much from your family that when you're home you might want them in the clubhouse and maybe on the field shagging fly balls. That doesn't bother me," Ausmus said. "It's a little tougher with daughters. You can't really bring your daughter into the clubhouse. But I understand why guys want their kids around."
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.