Former MLB Player Gabe Kapler on Being a Good Father (and Not Taking PEDs)

With Spring Training in full swing, I want to highlight a baseball-related fatherhood story–how one MLB player chose being a role model to his kids over the temptation of using PEDs.

I figured that ultimately I would be in a position in which I’d be forced to impart one of two lessons: “don’t do it like dad” or “follow in my footsteps.” I chose the latter. – Gabe Kapler

Gabe Kapler at Fenway Park
Gabe Kapler’s decision to eschew PEDs was made, in part, based on his concerns about being a good father and role model to his children (Photo: Wikipedia, creative commons license)

Gabe Kapler was a major league baseball player for 12 years. He was never a star, but was a frontline player for several years before becoming a role-player. In a recent article at Baseball Prospectus, Kapler wrote a fantastic, nuanced article about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and his decision to eschew them. In his own words:

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Why Compressed Work Weeks Can Be Great For Employees and Employers

A compressed work week is a useful flexible work arrangement that can help free up valuable time for family and life demands while minimizing workplace disruptions.

With a Compressed Work Week, this could be your schedule
With a Compressed Work Week, this could be your schedule

Employees Win!

I have a friend who is a public-sector lawyer with a wife and two young children. He opted for a compressed work week (CWW), in which he works nine 9-hour days over a two-week stretch and then has every other Friday off (another common type of CWWs consists of four 10-hour days with every Friday off). He still works the same number of hours, essentially banking one extra hour a day and cashing these in every two weeks.

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Twitter Love for FWF From Senator Gillibrand!

.@ScottBehson is absolutely right — "The Time Is Right for the #FAMILYAct": http://t.co/OueRkcNwfs #PaidFMLA — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 21, 2014 Two weeks ago, I wrote a post explaining why I thought the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid parental leave program, is a great idea. The piece was later republished at Huffington … Read more

A Little Help From My Friends: A Year of Awesome Guest Posts

Here’s a roundup of the guest posts featured at Fathers, Work and Family over the past year. Enjoy this incredible collection of fathers’ voices discussing work-family issues.

In blogging, just like in my college intramural softball days, I'm lucky to have surrounded myself with great friends
In blogging, just like in my college intramural softball days, I’m lucky to have surrounded myself with great friends

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

One of my goals in starting this blog was to build a community of busy, involved working dads who could share their experiences, insights, challenges and triumphs. In this way, we’d know that we are not alone in our work-family juggles, and that we could be sources of emotional and tangible support for each other.

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Beer Fire! Networking for Fatherhood (from the FWF vault)

Too many dads feel alone in their work-family struggles. If we spent the time on building informal support networks with fellow dads, we’d be better able to help each other. Here’s one way we do this in my neighborhood, and suggestions on how you can network for fatherhood.

Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads
Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads

(While I am away on a short family vacation, I thought it would be nice to post a favorite FWF article of mine from the very first week of the blog. Enjoy!)

My friend and neighbor, Francesco, who is a terrific dad, (and, more importantly, a loyal blog reader!), has a semi-regular tradition of inviting his local guy friends to hang out by the fire pit in his backyard with a cooler full of beer. We’ve come to calling this brilliant innovation BEER FIRE!

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4 Reasons Valentine’s Day Is Important For Us Dads (I especially like #4)

Hey Dads! Yes, it’s overblown, but Valentine’s Day is an important opportunity to emphasize romance with your wife and to role model positive expressions of love to your kids.

Valentine's Day reminds us of the importance of romance...
Valentine’s Day reminds us to cherish this relationship…
and to nurture this relationship
… and to nurture this one

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the wives*, moms and women out there. After all, we wouldn’t be dads without you. (I especially want to recognize my amazing wife, Amy, who brings me so much joy and with whom I am deliriously happy to share my life).

I’ve heard men, especially those who’ve been with their wives for a long time, criticize Valentine’s Day for a range of reasons:

  • It’s a “Hallmark” holiday
  • It is asymmetrical in that women get jewelry, flowers and chocolates and all we get is half of a dinner out
  • And, especially, that it’s dumb because we should recognize loving relationships every day, not just on some arbitrary date

To these, I say:

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Reader Feedback: A Top Executive Who Promotes Work-Life Balance

A Harvard Business Review blog reader’s comment demonstrates that many senior managers are supportive of work-life balance.

I expected less enlightened management philosophies from my readers. I was happy to be wrong! photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
I expected less enlightened management philosophies from some of my readers. I was happy to be wrong! photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

When I think of the older readers of the Harvard Business Review, I imagine super-smart, tough, hard-working types with old-school management philosophies. So, when I wrote my latest article for the HBR blog, entitled “How to Be a Family-Friendly Boss” I was prepared for a backlash to my “progressive” thinking about management and work-family balance.

The backlash never came.

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The Time is Right For the FAMILY Act- Paid Parental Leave

The FAMILY act would create a national policy of paid parental leave. Why I think this is a great idea.

I was extremely fortunate to spend the first few months of Nick's life at home. I hope that more dads become able to take paternity leave to have similar experiences
I was extremely fortunate to spend the first few months of Nick’s life at home. I hope that more dads become able to take paternity leave to have similar experiences

When I was on NPR last week (you can listen here) to discuss paternity leave, we took lots of great phone calls from listeners. Most callers lamented their lack of available paternity leave.

One caller, however, had lived in Montreal, where new dads are entitled to up to 5 weeks of paid leave, with wage replacement up to 70% of one’s earnings. It is no wonder that more than 80 percent of new dads in Quebec take paternity leave. (for more on the benefits of paternity leave, see here)

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