Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Sportswriter Edition

April 21st, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  7 Comments

From the sports pages of the Dallas Observer:

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?

Follow me this way to some confusion.

Imagine if Jason Witten missed a game to attend the birth of a child. It’s just, I dunno, weird. Wrong even.

Departures? Totally get it because at a funeral you’re saying goodbye to someone for the last time. But an arrival is merely saying hello to someone you’ll see the rest of your life.

Let me see if I understand this correctly: This fellow is upset because Major League Baseball allowed a player to miss a game to attend the birth of his child? I’m getting this right, or is there some context (other than this asshole being from Texas) that I don’t understand?

Just to attend to the logic of it for a moment: go the funeral but not the birth, because the funeral is a last chance to say goodbye, and hell, the kid’s gonna be around forever, drinking your beer, crying, and running up diaper bills (this is post-college). Only reiterating that because it’s so warped I thought I’d missed something.

Also kinda like the way he slipped in the football reference: no way would a football player miss a game, cuz that’s a man’s game.

BTW—I had no idea such a policy, which gives new fathers one to three days off to be with their newborns, existed. Seems a good thing to me, but what I do know? I’m not a sportswriter.


  1. Tim says:

    April 21st, 2011at 2:18 pm(#)

    The creation of the paternity list is arguably the most forward-thinking piece of whatever Major League Baseball has done since the beginning of free agency, or maybe even since integration. And what the columnist doesn’t understand is that it’s not just an act of magnanimity toward the players, it also benefits the team.

    If you’re not a baseball guy, a brief explanation: due to roster constraints, the need to carry five starters, and the various specialized relief pitchers, a modern pitching staff is always just a small tick away from disaster. And there are all kinds of arcane rules governing the transfer of players from the minors up to the majors.

    So in the past even if a team was totally on board with giving a player (but especially a pitcher) a few days off to enjoy the birth of a child (and you’ll note that at least this guy’s pitching coach was TOTALLY on board), it wasn’t a consequence-less no-brainer until the rule was enacted. Now they can quickly and easily call up a minor leaguer to help minimize the impact on the pitching staff.

    Sorry for rambling. The bottom line is that the columnist is a heartless weasel who doesn’t seem to understand why the rule was put into place. And I’m sure that if Texas was playing a critical playoff series, the pitcher’s wife would have been the first to insist that the pitcher forgo the birth to take the mound. It’s April, for God’s sake.

  2. dadwagon says:

    April 21st, 2011at 2:26 pm(#)

    Tim–yep. –Theodore.

  3. Daddy Files says:

    April 21st, 2011at 2:32 pm(#)

    Just proves the old theory that everything is truly bigger in Texas. Including douchebag Dallas sportswriters.

  4. SCOTTSTEV says:

    April 21st, 2011at 2:50 pm(#)

    This strikes me as premeditated curmudgeon hackery. He probably spiked the “Soccer is for wimps” and “MMA is men hugging, not an honest combat sport like boxing” columns and filed this in 30 secs. He probably also thinks the flood of e-mail and comments is a sign that he bravely touched a nerve, rather than the reflexive response when someone says something utterly stupid.

  5. dadwagon says:

    April 21st, 2011at 2:52 pm(#)

    Scottstev–I hope so, as I wholeheartedly approve of “premeditated curmudgeon hackery.” In fact, that should the DadWagon motto. Our wives would most certainly agree. –Theodore.

  6. Leland Gross says:

    April 21st, 2011at 4:44 pm(#)

    The ammount of baseball games to football games in a season alone proves his ignorance for the sport in general. And of course he free admits his lack of true fatherhood in the article which is clue #1 as to why he doesnt see the importance in attendance.

  7. Jason says:

    April 21st, 2011at 6:11 pm(#)

    Said writer admits to not having kids. Five bucks says he’s never thrown a baseball.

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