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Hot Take on Carpenter’s Paternity Leave Creates Furor

I have no idea the original source of his information, but fantasy baseball writer Jeff Mans of Fantasy Alarm redefined the term “hot take” on Thursday morning when he tweeted the following about St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter.

“Matt Carpenter might miss FOUR GAMES after his wife had a baby…what exactly is HE going to do for four days? #Cardinals #Pussification

As one might suspect, Mans spent the rest of the day trying to dig his way out of the hole he created. With over 23,000 followers and a considerable number of angry re-tweets, he received a lot of attention to say the least.

Mans first tried this defense.

“Somebody google how many days Mickey Mantle, Oscar Robertson and Joe Montana took off for birth of their kids.”

Predictably, that did not stem the tide of criticism, so Mans clarified his concern.

He asserted his “issue is the arbitrary 4 days,” not lack of support of a father to be with his wife for childbirth.

When FOX Sports Midwest’s Jim Hayes tweeted later in the day that Carpenter was expected back by Saturday, Mans decided it was validation of his position that four days is too long.

Mans retweeted Hayes’ comment with this response:

“Guess even Matt Carpenter agreed with me… #OtherThanTheStupidHashtag

At least he realized his choice of hashtags was inappropriate, later admitting:

“That was just dumb…and it was a hashtag meant more for Sports being soft than his personal situation…”

To bring this full circle, the reality is that four days is as erroneous as it is irrelevant.

After all, it isn’t like Carpenter is the first MLB player to want to be with his wife for childbirth. Precedent is established, which is turned into rules.

Major League Baseball Rule 2(o) is the one that governs paternity leaves and it is very specific.

It states, “The minimum period of placement on the Major League Paternity Leave List shall be one day and the maximum period of placement shall be three consecutive days.”

Mans added this celebratory tweet:

“Turned out to be right. He will be back Saturday after missing two games.”

No, wrong again.

Since Carpenter left on Wednesday, returning on Saturday would put him away for three days. Makes complete sense.

At this point, I informed Mans of MLB Rule 2(o). In his defense, he was good-natured about it, asking me where I was four hours earlier. My reply was that I was “watching him dance”. I also explained the three-day leave by Carpenter.

As is often the case, the flame was sparked due to a lack of understanding of the rules. Further, the anger was misdirected. If one does not like the rules, then he should aim his unhappiness at the Players’ Union and Major League Baseball – the authorities who set the rules.

Directing frustration at the player and indirectly toward the team’s fan base (via the Cardinals hashtag) was entirely inappropriate and even worse, was based on an inaccurate assumption in the first place.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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3 Responses to “Hot Take on Carpenter’s Paternity Leave Creates Furor”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Carpenter didn’t get put on the paternity list until today. So if he returns for Saturday’s game, he will have taken two days, not three.

    • crdswmn says:

      The way I understand the rules, the three days starts when the player is removed from the active list. Since Carpenter wasn’t removed until today, and Garcia wasn’t added until today, then Wednesday doesn’t count toward the three days. If Carpenter is returned to the active list on Saturday, he will have taken two days.

      If you have a different understanding, please explain.

      • crdswmn says:

        So the PD says he can miss the first three games of the Nats series. If he does that means he will not play on Saturday but play on Sunday.

        Perhaps where we are missing each other, is that when you say return on Saturday, you do not mean play on Saturday; If he isn’t returned to the active list until Sunday to play on Sunday, then you are correct that it is three days.

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