Ex-Marlins exec slams Nats closer for taking paternity leave during NLCS

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor

The Washington Nationals will begin the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals without their top reliever, closer Daniel Hudson, due to the birth of his child.

According to one former baseball executive, that just can’t happen.

Former Marlins president on Nats closer’s absence: ‘Inexcusable’

The Nationals announced Friday that closer Daniel Hudson will open the series on the paternity list, sidelining him for at least Game 1. Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters that Hudson’s wife gave birth to a girl Friday morning.

After a victorious Game 1, Martinez reported that Hudson will fly out to St. Louis on Saturday morning to join the team for Game 2.

The joyous news of Hudson’s child was met with disapproval from former Marlins president David Samson, who was fired after the new team ownership took control.

You heard it here first, folks. The only way Daniel Hudson is allowed to spend the first day of his daughter’s life with her is if something is medically wrong with her or his wife. Those are apparently the rules in Samson’s head. Good thing the Marlins never made the playoffs after the paternity list’s creation in 2011, otherwise there might have been some problems.

Of course, Samson should be quite familiar about the importance of family. He became a top executive for the Montreal Expos, then the Marlins though his then-stepfather, former owner Jeff Loria.

Samson would later go on to fight off a RICO lawsuit over his mismanagement of the Exposfleece Miami taxpayers in a $1.2 billion stadium deal that later triggered an SEC investigation then taunt them over itthreaten to fire employees for letting an octopus win a mascot race and become the first person voted out on a season of “Survivor.” Clearly, a man who knows what it takes to win.

Nats manager seems cool with Hudson meeting his daughter

Less irate over Hudson missing Game 1 was Martinez, who said that Hudson should not be putting a baseball game over his family.

“I told him, ‘Hey, family's always first,’ ” Martinez said. “I understand. The timing didn't work out like we thought, baby wasn't ready to come out. So we get him back when we get him back.”

Per MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, Hudson flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix on Thursday morning, the day after the team’s NLDS Game 5 win, and the birth took longer than expected.

Daniel Hudson is one of the few members of the Nationals bullpen trusted by manager Dave Martinez. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Nationals do just fine in Game 1 without Hudson

As great as the news is for Hudson — and it is absolutely his right to take the game off for a special day with his family — he left a significant hole in a bullpen so thin that the Nationals turned to their rotation multiple times during the NLDS for late-innings work.

That turned out to not matter.

Nationals No. 4 starter Anibal Sanchez started Game 1 and simply dominated the Cardinals, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning by keeping batters off-balance all night. Former Nationals closer Sean Doolittle then came in for a four-out save to complete the one-hitter for a 2-0 win.

Now up 1-0 in the NLCS, the Nationals will happily proceed into Game 2 with a rested Hudson back in the bullpen.

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