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Sean Doolittle perfectly responded to Daniel Hudson’s critics

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Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson went on paternity leave for the birth of his and his wife’s third child, causing him to miss Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. Fortunately for the Nationals, they did just fine without him, winning 2-0 as Sean Doolittle slammed the door in the ninth inning.

When news of Hudson’s absence hit, he received plenty of criticism from fans, both of the Nationals and those just following the playoffs. We’ve seen the criticism in the past as well, but it carried extra spice because it’s the postseason. One of Hudson’s critics is David Samson, the former president of the Marlins. Samson tweeted, “Unreal that Daniel Hudson is on paternity list and missing game 1 of #NLCS . Only excuse would be a problem with the birth or health of baby or mother. If all is well, he needs to get to St. Louis. Inexcusable. Will it matter?”

A former front office executive taking an anti-player stance? Quelle surprise.

Doolittle had a terrific response to Hudson’s critics. Per The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli, Doolittle said, “If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, ‘Congratulations, I hope everybody is healthy,’ you’re an asshole.”

Hudson also had a great response. He said, “My family is top priority for me. I heard somebody say one time, ‘Baseball’s what I do, it’s not who I am.’ And kind of once you have kids, or once I had kids, it really resonated with me.”

Hudson returned in Game 2, getting the final two outs of the game to secure the Nationals’ 3-1 win to put them up two games to none in the series, which continues on Monday night in Washington, D.C.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).