Rangers starter Colby Lewis became baseball’s first player to take advantage of the new paternity leave rule, codifying a generally accepted practice to let players leave for 24-72 hours to witness the birth of a child. Richie Whitt, who writes the Dallas Observer’s Sportatorium Blog, is not a fan of the new rule.
In Game 2, Colby Lewis is scheduled to start after missing his last regular turn in the rotation because — I’m not making this up — his wife, Jenny, was giving birth in California. To the couple’s second child.
Don’t have kids of my own but I raised a step-son for eight years. I know all about sacrifice and love and how great children are.
But a pitcher missing one of maybe 30 starts? And it’s all kosher because of Major League Baseball’s new paternity leave rule?
Five or six innings of your baseball career or a special experience that happens a few times per lifetime (unless you’re Travis Henry)? The choice is obvious. This is April. Get your head in the game! You should also ignore your kid for a solid two to three weeks. Let them know the pecking order.
Baseball players are paid millions to play baseball. If that means “scheduling” births so they occur in the off-season, then so be it. Of the 365 days in a year, starting pitchers “work” maybe 40 of them, counting spring training and playoffs.
Definitely, these guys make millions of dollars a year. They owe us, personally. Only procreating at certain times of the year? Forcing their wives to undergo medical procedures at the rest of our convenience? The least we should expect.
If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous.
Ludicrous indeed! Once you get beyond the first one, they’re just free labor.
[Photo via Getty]