Dept. of ‘What?’: Mets’ second baseman criticized for taking three-day paternity leave

Congrats, new dad. Glad you could meet your new baby. (Associated Press)
Congrats, new dad. Glad you could meet your new baby. (Associated Press)

Am I really writing this?

Sigh. I guess I am.

Here goes.

Boomer Esiason is an idiot. So is Mike Francesa.

Why? If you haven’t heard (and started to get sweaty palms, like myself), Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy had the gall — the GALL — to be with his wife when she gave birth to their son, Noah, which happened to coincide with opening day. Then Murphy actually took his organization up on its offer of three whopping days of paternity leave, and missed a second game.

Esiason, that brilliant, insightful former football player with no medical degree, said Murphy’s wife should have scheduled a C-Section to make sure he didn’t miss opening day. “I would have said ‘C-section before season starts. I need to be at opening day.’ ”

Murphy flew from New York to Florida to be with his wife, who had a C-section after her water broke Sunday night. (Just what this woman needs: All of us talking about her birth process.) In case Boomer and the other men discussing this did not understand, not only did she give birth to their first child, she also had major abdominal surgery. So, yeah, Murphy decided he would rather be present for what is arguably the most important moment in their lives, and in their life as a couple, rather than playing a baseball game against the Nats.

It wasn’t like he was AWOL — the MLB and Players Association began offering a paternity leave of three days in 2011.

Those who were bashing Murphy’s decision said he should have at least returned to work Wednesday, for the second game. Murphy was quite restrained in his response when asked about it, saying, “But that’s the awesome part about being blessed, about being a parent, is you get that choice. My wife and I discussed it, and we felt the best thing for our family was for me to try to stay for an extra day — that being Wednesday — due to the fact that she can’t travel for two weeks.”

She’s in Florida. He isn’t. It wasn’t as if he could leave the hospital, go to work, come back at the end of the day, as Francesa is saying he did.

Murphy will be back for Friday’s game. What does his boss — the person who pays him and actually depends on him — think of all this? Because really, that’s who Murphy has to answer to, right?

Wait for it.

The Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson, said, “The paternity-leave policy was introduced not just for the players’ benefit, but recognition by clubs in contemporary times that this is an appropriate time for parents to be together. So I’ve got absolutely no problem whatsoever with Murph being away. I think the delivery was a little earlier than expected, but those things you don’t control. I’m happy he was able to be with his wife and the fact that he only really missed two games is a positive for us.”

Good thing for all of us that some people don’t live in caves.

Amy Joyce is the editor and a writer for On Parenting.
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