Major League Pitcher Criticized for Wanting to Attend His Child’s Birth
Major League Pitcher Criticized for Wanting to Attend His Child’s Birth. Texas Rangers’ pitcher Colby Lewis’ decision to take advantage of Major League Baseball’s paternity league policy, affording players 24-72 hours off when their children are born, caused at least one Texas sports columnist to challenge Lewis’ professionalism and dedication to the job.
“Baseball players are paid millions to play baseball,” wrote Dallas Observer columnist Richie Whitt. “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 . . . If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous.”
The Rangers’ pitching coach, however, told the Dallas Morning News that the MLB’s decision to institute a paternity leave policy is a good thing. “I don’t know why we didn’t have it before,” he said. “I’ve longed for the day we would. We have the bereavement list and to some, this is for something that’s even more sacred.”
The Morning News added that Lewis is far from the only player to choose the birth of a child over baseball. “Last year, closer Neftali Feliz was unavailable for the Rangers’ game against the Detroit Tigers after the birth of his first child,” the paper said. “Yankees first baseman (and former Ranger) Mark Teixeira missed two games at Texas last season due to the birth of his third child.” (April 2011)