A little overdue praise is in order. Sean Rodriguez missed Thursday's game after his wife Gisele went into labor around noon, bringing forth the couple's fourth child Zekiel Cruz.
MLB players are allotted three days of paternity leave, but thankfully there were no complications and Rodriguez was able to return to the Rays on Friday.
Contrast that to Mets second baseman Danny Murphy, whose wife had to undergo emergency surgery during the delivery, leading to concerns he would need more that three days to care for her and his new baby boy. Somehow this led WFAN host Mike Francesca questioned Murphy's decision to take paternity leave, at all!
In case you stayed removed from the situation, media up north had a frenzy, but Russell A. Carlton's response to the situation is all you need.
Rodriguez returned to play just in time for the first platooning of first base this season, with James Loney taking the day off against Rangers emergency starter Joe Saunders. (What's that? He's there to stay? oh.)
Among his stellar day receiving throws at first and fielding choppers up the line, one play stands out in particular. It's what we've come to expect of Sean, his horizontal moments where he dives full stretch in the blink of an eye, but seeing at first base is an unusual angle for him. He still delivered.
S-Rod was also responsible for blowing the game open with this three run shot:
Toward the end of his home run trot, you can see Rodriguez tapping his wrist band, which he wore in honor of his new son and what he and for what his family had accomplished. We shouldn't underrate the face Rodriguez and his family were willing to let him return to the Trop so soon.
Sean would technically go 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI, but actually reached base four times, thanks to a throwing error by Adrian Beltre he legged out, and a hit-by-pitch.
Post game, it was clear how gassed Rodriguez was, after the stress of a birth-day and an exhilarating performance:
Congrats to the Rodriguez family, and way to put on a show, Sean.