Friday, April 22, 2011

Sacrifices for the Jersey


I was supposed to go to Triple A last weekend to visit a buddy, but shit got weird. As in, he is expecting more than he is going to get and since we allllll know I have a problem with saying "no", particularly when I'm drinking, I decided it was best to not go. It would be an Alex Hamilton round 2. I'm not interested in him as more than a friend, and I'm not going to fake it for the uniform. Neither of us deserve that shit. Been there, done that.

On that note, there's a story out there about how a Dallas reporter decided to comment on Colby Lewis missing his 4th start of the year to go be with his wife who was in labor. MLB changed their rules regarding paternity leave this year, which now grants a 24-72 hour leave when a player's wife is expecting a baby. Colby was the first player to make use of this rule, and already he's getting called out for it, and it reminds me horribly of why I never went back to dating baseball.

Jason (Richie?) Whitt, a columnist for the Dallas Observer said this:

"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.”

Okay, first off, I love baseball as much as the next psycho Yankee fan. I bleed pinstripes. I will probably name my first son (that I will never have but if I do) Bernie. But this dude needs to like, get a fucking life outside of his fantasy team, because he is being ridiculous.

Weird? WRONG EVEN? WRONG for a man to be by his wife's side while she's fucking going through excruciating pain pushing something out of her vagina? I'm sorry, I thought people in Texas were super republican and like, conservative about family values. You'd rather a guy be on a mound with a team than by his wife's side during birth? At the end of the day - baseball is just a game. And for those guy's, it's a job. Men leave work when their wives go into labor. Lawyers. Bankers. Waiters. Managers. They take a day off when their wife goes into labor. Baseball is not more important than any of those other jobs. Family should always come first. It doesn't a lot of the times in baseball. And taking this other family moment away from a player and his wife is not fair. EXPECTING the guy to lose that moment is not fair either.

Look, I hate kids. I don't want them, I don't do babies, I don't do diapers or crying or drool or shit that looks like something served in an Indian restaurant. It isn't my thing. But I know what family is. And it saddens me that people like this dbag columnist, who probably has no concept of what players go through on a day to day basis and is WAY too invested in his fantasy team, expect baseball players to put this game before their actual family and lives. It isn't a fair standard to hold to them. It's not like he missed the game to go party and an alumni baseball event. You expect a man to choose a city of nameless fans who would trade him away at the first shot for a World Series over his wife and child? I'm sorry. I love baseball, but it's just a game. There will be other starts for him to pitch. Other teams for him to break records on. There is only one birth of that one child. That's his right as a husband and father to have that moment, regardless of what his job is.

Jason Whitt needs a life. I have a feeling he's probably gotten a lot of slack for that column, and if he hasn't, he should. When I read it I was vaguely reminded of the scene in *61 where the reporters are all bitching about Roger Maris because he won't give them an interview, so they go on saying he has the easiest life in the world and he OWES them something, when in reality dude was chain smoking like Lindsay Lohan when she runs out of blow and balding quicker than the Harvard asshole I went out with. People who AREN'T in those positions think it's really easy. It isn't. And the life you miss out on when you play baseball for a living can be tough. Yeah, it's nice to be Derek Jeter or A-Rod or Crawford or Werth. It's nice to have that money and to make it playing baseball. But the guys who are strugglign to break into the majors, who change teams yearly, who are never in a solid home for more than a month, who don't get to go home in the offseason because they go play in fall leagues and winter leagues, the stress of releases and injuries and the threats of trades....God, it's not a great part of life. I'm sorry. And for this columnist to believe that Lewis should have chosen the game over his family shows that it's not always easy to do the right thing in that game. It's not always easy to put family first where they belong. And in a lot of people's eyes, he SHOULDN'T have put family first. This is what these people expect from these guys. It's sad.

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