New York sports radio personalities — including former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason — have taken Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to task for missing the beginning of the baseball season for the birth of his son.
Murphy missed Opening Day to be with his wife, Victoria, who gave birth to Noah on Monday. He was placed on a three-day paternity leave, which Major League Baseball allows in its collective bargaining agreement.
Esiason and Carton questioned Murphy’s dedication, while maintaining that Murphy’s place should be on the field with his teammates and questioning how much help he could provide for his wife.
Esiason, whose son Gunner, 19, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2, was especially critical of Murphy’s decision, even suggesting the Murphys should have scheduled a C-section before the season to ensure he wouldn’t miss any playing time.
“I would have said C-section before the season starts,” Esiason said during the show. “I need to be at Opening Day.
“I’m sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we’re gonig to live our life, this is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.”
Later, when speculating when Murphy might return to the Mets as long as the delivery went as planned, Esiason said, “Get your a-- back to work.”
Francesa was equally vocal, suggesting that times have changed from “the old days” and natural childbirth is to blame for players choosing to be present during the births, thus missing games.
“I frankly don’t get it, to be honest with you,” Francesa said. “I don’t know where it started. I guess it started with natural childbirth.
“In the old days, guys weren’t present. They were in the waiting room. Then they went to this natural childbirth stuff. They were in the room and they were part of it.
“I have no problem with being there. I don’t know why you need three days off, to be honest. You see the birth and you get back.”
Francesa added that baseball players, especially, can afford assistance and have less need to be present after the birth.
“What are you doing the first couple of days? Maybe you take care of the other kids? You have someone do that if you’re a major-league baseball player,” Francesa said. “Your wife doesn’t need your help the first couple of days, you know that. You’re not doing much the first couple of days with the baby.”
The comments have sparked widespread criticism, including calls for boycotts and comparing the radio hosts to Neanderthals.
Where do you stand? Was Murphy right to take time off to be with his wife, or should his first priority have been with his team? Tell us in the comments below.