The 2016 White Sox were historically blighted. That was the team where Chris Sale was suspended for insubordination after literally cutting up throwback uniforms during batting practice before a start so he wouldn’t have to wear one. That was the team that nearly underwent a mutiny and then a counter-mutiny because Adam LaRoche’s 14-year-old son was allowed to run wild in the clubhouse, and was then banned. It is simultaneously a blessing and a curse that the shockwaves of suck from that team are still being felt today.
But something happened on that White Sox team, between Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier. Something to make them lifelong enemies and also giant babies. Something that spilled over yet again in the Nationals-Mets game Monday night. Frazier took the high road—very temporarily, as it turns out—but Eaton opted for the ambiguous and petty road, declaring, among many other things, that “I’m a 30-year-old man with two kids. I’ve got a mortgage and everything. And he wants to loud-talk as he’s running off the field. I’ve got to be a man about it.”
The whole thing was very inscrutable and also entirely appropriate to be the main storyline for two garbage franchises perpetually rotting from the head. The sort of beef that had to exist. It couldn’t not. But the question still remains: Why exactly do these two baseball men dislike each other?
Quick correction: Twenty-four guys. Drake LaRoche definitely knows.
Frazier spent his pregame media availability Tuesday firing back. Please enjoy this monologue that begins with the scrotum-shriveling line “At the end of the day, you think about what a man really is,” said in an extreme Jersey accent.
Okay, first of all Todd, it might not be the financially wise thing for Adam to pay it off, no matter how much money he has. Given Eaton’s income and trends since the recession, he probably got himself a pretty damned low mortgage rate. Combine that with historic gains in the market, and he very well might be better off just investing his money and paying down his mortgage. Additionally, a long-term fixed-rate mortgage can be a good hedge against inflation—and while inflation is low now, that’s certainly not going to be the case over the remainder of Eaton’s mortgage, especially if it’s a 30-year. Only the Eatons’ accountant knows what’s right for them. Do not talk about another man’s mortgage.
Ah, but it turns out, the joke has been on us all along. Eaton already owns his home outright!
We are all dumber for even the most distant association with the 2016 White Sox.