PITTSFIELD >> When it comes to money, especially big money, some people have principles and others don't.

In business, this situation has been on display most recently in professional sports where one athlete chose family over a significant sum of money, while another may have literally thrown his career away because he refuses to grow up.

Adam LaRoche of the Chicago White Sox recently walked away from $13 million when he decided to retire after management objected to the amount of time his 14-year-old son, Drake, spent in the team's clubhouse.

The immature young man is former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose personal problems are almost too numerous to mention.

Given the greed that goes on in professional sports today, LaRoche's decision to leave all that money on the table and walk away from the White Sox while he can still play is refreshing, although I would argue it's a bit self-centered.

He may have been upset that management would no longer allow his son in the clubhouse. But as a key player on a professional team one could say that LaRoche owed something to his teammates before deciding to abruptly walk away before the season even began.

But in the end, the White Sox were well within their rights to uphold their team's rules, and LaRoche had every right to leave if he chose not to accept them.

So far, things have worked out fine. The White Sox got off to a good start, and LaRoche is at peace with his decision.


"I haven't lost an ounce of sleep," LaRoche has been quoted as saying on CBSSports.com. "I have zero regrets."

LaRoche lived in Pittsfield and played baseball here briefly as a teenager when his father, former Major League pitcher Dave LaRoche, served as the Pittsfield Mets' pitching coach for two years during the mid-1990s.

Manziel's behavior has been the polar opposite of LaRoche's. Due to his incessant partying and ongoing legal issues involving his former girlfriend, the Browns released their former number one draft choice in March after two uneven seasons.

On Friday, Fox News reported that Manziel is expected to be formally indicted in Dallas on Monday for allegedly kidnapping, hitting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend earlier this year. If convicted, Manziel could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

This comes shortly after Nike dropped Manziel from an advertising deal and his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also decided to break ties with him.

Principles over profit. LaRoche has them, and Manziel doesn't, at least not yet. LaRoche is 36, Manziel is 23. One hopes that Manziel figures it out before it's too late.

Moving on up

Two people with connections to Berkshire County are moving forward in their chosen professions.

Attorney Carol Shaw of Northampton, who served 13 years as assistant regional counsel in Berkshire County for the Springfield Department of Children and Families, has been nominated for a judgeship in Massachusetts Juvenile Court by Governor Charlie Baker.

Shaw has served as assistant clerk magistrate for the Hampden County Juvenile Court since 2012. She began her career as a judicial law clerk for the Springfield Probate and Family Court where she served 13 years in Berkshire County. Shaw received her Juris Doctor in 1998 from the Western New England College School of Law and Masters and Bachelor's degrees from Syracuse University.

Cynthia Cardeli was recently promoted to director of programs and services at the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts in Westborough.

She joined BIA-MA in October 2014 as the organization's western regional manager in the Pittsfield office.

In the time she managed the western region, Cardeli grew the number of support groups from eight to 11 and increased the reach of new activities for brain injury survivors in the Greenfield, Hadley and Northampton areas.

Tony Dobrowolski is the business editor of The Berkshire Eagle. He can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com