There is a good chance New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom will miss a start in April for the birth of his first child. And good for him.
DeGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, will have the opportunity to pitch 30 more times for the defending NL champions. But he will only have one opportunity to see that baby being born. Those first moments are when a dad gets the opportunity to first bond with his child.
Another Met on paternity leave
No doubt the radio airwaves will be aflutter about whether he should or shouldn’t take the time off, just as they were two years ago when Daniel Murphy took paternity leave and missed the first two games of the Mets’ 2014 season. Manager Terry Collins will be inundated with questions about moving around the rotation. Pandemonium among the media will surely ensue.
DeGrom is fulfilling his right as a Major League Baseball player. Starting with the 2011 season, a team can put a player on its “paternity leave list” so he can attend the birth of his child. A player placed on the paternity leave list must miss the next team game, but no more than three games in total. The team can use another player from its 40-man roster to replace a player on the paternity leave list.
Honestly, it’s none of our business if deGrom wants to spend that time with his new family. There is something special about driving your first child home from the hospital. That slow careful drive. And bringing him or her into your home, when for the first time it’s you, your wife and the baby. That is when it’s really real.
So, Jacob, if you need to miss two starts that is cool with me. Being a starting pitcher for the Mets is now your second most important job.
A version of this first appeared on Great Moments in Bad Parenting.