I’m somewhat hesitant to weigh in on yet another moronic radio host bringing his shocking and appalling shtick to the written world, because enough scorn has been dumped on douche bag Richie Whitt from the likes of Hardball Talk and Deadspin already.
It’s obviously stupid to suggest that a person is in the wrong for putting his family, and more specifically the birth of his child, before a baseball game in the middle of April. If there ever was a column that is so obviously trolling for attention, it’s this one. As such, I’m not going to link to it here, but if you really want to give this guy an extra page view or two, it can be found fairly easily through the links I’ve already put down.
The basic premise of the article is to criticize MLB’s paternity leave rule which allows a player like Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis to take a couple days off from the team to be with his wife while she brings life into the world. Whitt suggests that this is not only wrong, but “weird.”
This is the type of logic we’re dealing with in the article:
If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous.
I wonder what someone like Whitt would think if a player left the team for a couple days to be with a father undergoing surgery. After all, as Emma Span suggests in a comment on Bronx Banter, child birth is still a serious medical procedure. While maternal deaths may be low in the developed world, a whole assortment of complications can arise from the birthing process.
The combination of risk to the health of a loved one and the introduction of a new loved one into your life makes this the most excusable reason that I can possibly imagine to miss a day of work whether you’re a professional athlete or not. It’s neither wrong nor weird.
Whitt finishes his bait post by bringing up Shane Battier, who missed the birth of his daughter to score the game winning basket on Sunday. Not to make any sort of judgment on Battier’s parenting ability, but when it comes to questions of parenthood, is bringing the NBA up really helping you make your point at all?