Yesterday afternoon, Pete Abraham excerpted a portion of Cynthia Rodriguez's chat with Michael Kay on the new YES program, YESterdays:
"As tough and big as [Alex] seems, he is real wimpy around doctors or any type of medical situation. I don't know why I thought the birth of our child would be different. In the middle of the night, I realized that I needed to go to the hospital. I wake him up. The first thing that comes out of his mouth, 'Can we call your mother?' And I started, 'No. Let's wait and make sure that I am in labor, and make sure that, you know, it's the middle of the night.' And go to the hospital and everything. And finally, a few hours later, I said, 'I think you can call my mom now.'
"Uh, and the color came back to his face when I told him he could call my mom. And then forget it. I was like not even having a baby; he was the one. The one nurse had a cold cloth on his head. The other nurse had the blood pressure on his arm. And my mother was like rubbing his back. And he is passed out on a couch. And I am there, in the middle of labor. And really, I am not being paid much attention to besides the doctor and a couple of nurses. And he is there moaning. In between pushing, I am going, 'Honey, are you OK?' And are you breathing? Are you OK?'"
The other day my daughter fell out of a tree and broke her wrist. My husband and I rushed her to the hospital. While she was in the operating room I had to fill out a questionaire for a nurse. When I said my husband's occupation was 'baseball player,' she asked, for what team? I told her. Then she asked, what position? I got so pissed off, I shoved the paper at my husband and told him to deal with her, she was obviously more interested in him than our daughter. Now there's another woman who's gonna think I'm just a stuck-up wife of a star.
Anyway, just before they set my daughter's wrist, my husband had to leave to go to the stadium. He couldn't wait. That's the clearest vision of when the game comes first. Before anything. It's so cut-and-dried with him. I got furious. It's always been like that. Another time I had a baby while he was playing in the World Series. When they wheeled me back from the delivery room--I'm just coming out of the anesthesia--the nurse is putting on the TV. 'I thought you'd like to watch your husband playing in the World Series,' she says. I screamed at her to shut it off. Hell, he didn't come to watch me. I could have died in childbirth and my man wouldn't have been there. The burden is always on the wife's shoulders. Her man is never there.
For a candid and revealing portrait of what is like to be the wife of a ball player, consider Home Games: Two Baseball Wives Speak Out, written by Bobbie Bouton and Nancy Marshall. Both women are divorced their husbands, Jim Bouton and Mike Marshall.