Idol Chatter

Time was, not so long ago, that the game superseded just about anything for professional athletes. Perhaps a day off was warranted if a close family member died, but not much else could tear a player away from those temporary, stand-in family members we call teammates–not even the birth of a child. There are signs, however, that times are changing for the better, and that more and more pros are exactly where they belong when their wives are in labor: right beside them in the delivery room.

Just in the past few weeks, we’ve hear of two high-profile examples: Tiger Woods is prepared to skip the British Open for the birth of his first cub, and Carlos Delgado, the N.Y. Mets’ powerhouse first baseman, will likely miss Opening Day and the season’s first few games after that to be in Puerto Rico to help usher his first child from womb to room.

Of course, it’s not universal, at least not yet. Just last September, Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi made clear that he wouldn’t miss any games for the birth of his third child (though, to be fair, he was in the delivery room for the birth before high-tailing it to the stadium in time for the game… but still).

As for Delgado, he was quoted as saying, “My child comes first.” That once would have been considered a radical statement. Thankfully, it’s now ho-hum.

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