Columnist slams player for attending childbirth

Texas Rangers' starting pitcher Colby Lewis (48) throws a pitch during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday April. 19, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Brandon Wade

Texas Rangers' starting pitcher Colby Lewis (48) throws a pitch during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday April. 19, 2011, in Arlington, Texas.
AP Photo/Brandon Wade

It's a safe bet that Dallas Observer columnist Richie Witt won't be sending Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis a congratulatory cigar after the birth of his daughter.

That's because the Texas pitcher drew the columnist's ire for choosing to be in the delivery room instead of taking his turn on the pitcher's mound.

Here's an excerpt of what Witt wrote in his Monday column:

"Don't look now, but since Josh Hamilton's dumb dash for home Tuesday in Detroit, the Rangers are 1-4 and tied with the Angels atop the AL West. They start a three-game series with the Angels tonight in Arlington.

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?"

To drive home his point, Witt points out that the Grizzlies' Shane Battier opted to suit up for a playoff game on Sunday (and hit the game-winning shot) rather than fly back to Houston to witness his daughter be born.

As Witt concedes, Lewis was in line with new MLB paternity leave rules but the columnist argues that professional athletes who make millions of dollars have no right to miss work for childbirth.

"If that means 'scheduling' births so they occur in the off-season, then so be it," Witt writes. "If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous."

Who do you think is being ludicrous - the player or the writer?

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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