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Shame on Colby Lewis for witnessing the birth of his daughter

Apr 20, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

Colby Lewis

Whenever I point out and link a column or an article that seems outrageous, there’s always someone who notes that the writer was probably just “trying to get a reaction” or that he’s an otherwise OK guy who says audacious or controversial stuff in order to draw attention to themselves.

I get that. I understand that there are trolls out there trying to get a rise out of folks and that they might otherwise be fine upstanding  people. But as a wise man once wrote, we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. If you write idiotic things, for whatever reason, sorry, you’re an idiot.

Which brings me to Richie Whitt of the Dallas Observer. He wrote the other day about how Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis missed his last start. The reason:  Lewis’ his wife was giving birth to their daughter. Most people would think that’s a good reason. Not Whitt:

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 … Baseball players are paid millions to play baseball. 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 writer admits in the article that he has no children of his own but that he “raised a step-son for eight years.” Color me shocked that he (a) could not find a woman to procreate with him; and (b) was apparently dumped by his step son’s mother at some point.  With an attitude like this, I presume the issue of family and fatherhood isn’t going to come up for him any time soon.

But hey, at least someone is paying attention to you know.

  1. mattintoledo - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    There seem to be issues with misplaced blame in Texas lately.

  2. superpriebe - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Neyer has an interesting take. In short, what if it were Game 7? Wouldn’t the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

    Food for thought, but as a father whose parenting is right at the centre of my life, I’d be extra-proud of an athlete putting his children and family above all else. And frenkly, the needs of the many are met in a different way by this action, as any improved parenting that results from the positive role modeling is welcome.

    After all, we can always use more good fathers.

    • The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      We’re not talking about “needs” of fans though. Neither you nor I “needs” our team to win to validate our existence or anything.

  3. superpriebe - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Neyer has an interesting take. In short, what if it were Game 7? Wouldn’t the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

    Food for thought, but as a father whose parenting is right at the centre of my life, I’d be extra-proud of an athlete putting his children and family above all else. And frankly, the needs of the many are met in a different way by this action, as any improved parenting that results from the positive role modeling is welcome.

    After all, we can always use more good fathers.

    • superpriebe - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      Sorry about the duplicate….pressed the button and then immediately caught a spelling boo-boo.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      I think if Game 7 were to be coming up, you ask the doctor if they can induce labor, and avoid the dilemma :p Seriously, that *would* be tougher, but a start in April? Gimme a break…

  4. thebrettman - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    This guy is a joke. Move along.

  5. sportsdrenched - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    I’ve mellowed some in my fandom since having a family. But even in my most crazy fanboy days did I think a player should miss the birth of a child over a game.

    Colby Lewis is going to miss plenty of moments with his children because of his career. I’m not feeling sorry for him or the family. Because his kids should never know a day of need in their lives.

    However, at the end of the day sports is still a game. And I’ve learned if you care more than the people playing the game…you care too much.

  6. Jonny 5 - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    I wonder. It seems sometimes “writers” will pull the equivalent of a child doing something bad to get attention. You know if you have a child, Bad attention is better than none sometimes. Is this the basic warning sign of a writer desperate for attention? I think It may be.

  7. Panda Claus - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    At least one of Cal Ripken Jr.’s kids was born on an off-day during the season. Maybe Lewis could have been as resourceful. No, just kidding about that. It was accidental that Ripken’s kid was born that way or else the Streak would’ve ended early.

    Let the man (Lewis) have one day for his family. I’m sure he try extra hard in his next start.

  8. manute - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    This is clearly satire. Richie Whitt is the Jonathan Swift of our time.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      So you’re suggesting he should eat his kid? :)

  9. trevorb06 - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    This is what happens when the cousins breed with the cousins. Let’s all be glad this loon won’t be procreating any time soon… and if he does he best not take work off for it.

  10. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Kids are stupid. They should raise themselves.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      You’re six years old aren’t you? You would have missed your own birth for a Cubs game in August, right?

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        I missed my birth because I was blacked out and wasted.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        It’s good to see that things haven’t really changed. Especially on this, of all days out of the year—you know, Lince-Christmas….4/20.

      • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        Where I come from, we call it Lince-Rickeymas!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      Whuhhhh? Oh right, man. Like totally brah! It’s holidaze season, man. Yeah.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        Uh-oh…contact high…where are those Fritos? Oooh…Twinkies….

  11. cur68 - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    I think I’ve attended over a hundred births now and well over that for the immediate aftermath. One of those was the birth of my daughter. It hasn’t got old, especially the part where you see them take their first breath and turn pink (all going well). I don’t think it ever will. I think the only person who says what Whitt says is someone who’s never been there or had children. And, judging by his comments, never will.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      “I think I’ve attended over a hundred births now and well over that for the immediate aftermath. One of those was the birth of my daughter.”

      So…you have 100+ sons? And I thought Wilt was dead….

      • cur68 - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        Chamberlain was a quitter. I’m getting ready for the apocalypse (which will be lead by Jonny 5′s cousin PhilBot) by breeding my own army. Totally loyal, determined and enough to form a human shield around me with a horde left over to ‘wave charge’ the machines. The daughter was an error on her mother’s part. However, I’ve learned to really love the little imp. She’s witty, an excellent athlete (rock climbing), plays 5 instruments, an honor student and is so pretty I’m constantly amazed she’s related to me.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        Totally loyal? Determined? so I guess you’re banking on this apocalypse to occur sometime outside the age range of 5 through the teen years and early 20s?

      • cur68 - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        I’ve been at this a while. Its a bit like crop rotation; gotta have some coming up to replace the ones who, er, fail in their duty.

    • Panda Claus - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      100+ births!?! You must have season tickets.

      • cur68 - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        In a way, I do, in fact have a free pass at the birthing suit but it’s not all fun and games in spite of what you might hear some of the ladies call their husbands/boyfriends/partner. I’m only ever called over when its going to be a high risk or emergency C section. Thinking it over, I bet’s it’s closer to 200 now. I’ve been doing this a while.

      • CJ - Apr 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        dude you sound like the best man at my wedding a while back. he must be up to 370 by now.

    • CJ - Apr 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      watch out! cur68 has minions! muahahahahahahaha

      • cur68 - Apr 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        LMAO… I prefer “Toadies” or “Sycophants”. Craig’s got the minions.

  12. Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    I’m thinking that if the organization had a problem with Colby Lewis attending the birth of his child, Nolan woul’ve had him in a headlock while beating down on the top of his head by now.

    But congratulations to the Lewis family. It’s good that Colby was able to attend the most important day of his daughter’s life. And apparently it’s a good thing he doesn’t work for the Dallas Observer—their maternity-leave plan must SUCK.

  13. IdahoMariner - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    In the interests of ensuring that natural selection takes its course, he should be required to carry a copy of this article with him at all times, so that he can show it to any woman who shows the slightest interest in him, thereby staving off even the remote possibility that he would find someone willing to help him contribute to the gene pool.

  14. IdahoMariner - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    And congratulations to Colby Lewis and his family — and good on you for being a good husband and a good father.

  15. Land Snark - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    The fact that this was printed in the Dallas Observer is no shock. It’s one of those free rags that you get while going into a restaurant.

    The only value that paper has is inexpensive lining for bird cages.

    Forgive me if I place little to no value on any of the “writing” from that paper.

  16. IdahoMariner - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    “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.”

    1) I’m completely in favor of giving people time off for funerals and grieving…but the way he writes this strikes me as though he may well believe that the funeral is a magic place where the dead person is only “almost dead” for the duration of the service so that loved ones can say goodbye for the last time, thereby elevating funerals well over births in the hierarchy of “can’t miss” events. Which leads me to wonder where he would rate the Rolling Stones’ farewell tour(s) in this hierarchy…

    2) arggghhhh, must resist pointing out incredibly obvious part about it being much more than “merely saying hello”….. must resist.

  17. Loren - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    This guy’s an idiot and definitely deserved to be ripped for what he wrote, but talking about how the dude can’t get laid and assuming he was dumped by his wife is hitting below the belt. (Hey, may his son in law was 10 when he got married, was raised by Whitt for 8 years and then went off to college.) Take the high road Craig!

    • tomemos - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      Have to agree with this–what Whitt wrote is terrible but doesn’t prompt personal attacks (especially based on speculation) of this kind.

  18. zff4 - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    He missed a start to be present at the birth of his child?

    That’s so gay.

  19. CJ - Apr 20, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Someone in HR at the Observer needs to take a peek at the file and see if this guy’s ever taken a sick day. What a moron.

  20. pastortodd78 - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    I read the sports blogs on msnbc a lot, but never comment. On this one I could not not comment. Kudos to MLB for having the paternity leave and serious kudos to Colby Lewis for choosing to be at the birth of his child. As a pastor I have a very time intensive job, but I make a priority that my family comes first. I am a husband and soon to be father (first son is coming in just about 2 months) before I am an employee. I think all men should share this commitment to his family. It makes me happy that most of the commenters here are taking Lewis’s side instead of Richie Whitt’s.

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