While professional athletes are placed on pedestals on a daily basis for their on-field performances, it can be difficult to remember that playing a sport is actually a job and just like many of us, these guys have families and personal issues that come up away from their workplace as well.
So when I turned to Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2 yesterday and heard them defending Daniel Murphy for choosing to be with his wife and newborn child for an extra day (as in one), I couldn’t even fathom the idea that there had been enough criticism for it to be a talking point on a national radio show in the first place.
However, who it was coming from was a bit more alarming than what was being said. On their respective radio shows, hosts Craig Carton and Mike Francesa both took shots at Murph:
“What are you going to do? I mean you are going to sit there and look at your wife in a hospital bed for two days?” – Mike Francesa
“Assuming the birth went well, the wife is fine, the baby is fine, 24 hours and then you get your ass back to your team and you play baseball.” – Craig Carton
To avoid being taken out of context, each of these are just a short bit of what either host said and while I can certainly understand where they’re coming from, Murphy doesn’t deserve to have his family’s personal matters discussed on national radio.
I actually agree that spending a day with your wife and newborn should suffice but nobody knows the circumstances surrounding the birth, not to mention the MLBPA allows 1-3 days for paternity leave so it’s not as if Daniel Murphy’s case is out of the ordinary. What I don’t agree with were the comments from radio host, and co-host of Craig Carton, Boomer Esiason:
“Quite frankly I woulda said C-section before the season starts, I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry.”
“This is what makes our money, this is how we’re gonna live our life. This is gonna give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I wanna send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.”- Boomer Esiason
Of any of these three hosts, Esiason, as a former NFL player, should be the one to sympathize with Murphy but instead insisted on making foolish comments such as these.
First of all, the idea that he would ask his wife to get a C-section just so he could make Opening Day is absolutely absurd.
Perhaps Boomer doesn’t understand because his seasons were much shorter but no baseball player would ever ask their wife to choose to undergo a dangerous surgery, earlier than expected date of delivery, just so they could play Opening Day. It’s Opening Day for crying out loud and even the fact that Murphy missed 2 games doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
I know, as fans, we’re supposed to believe every game counts but seriously? Opening Day? There will be 160 other chances for Murphy to help this team out and Juan Lagares, playing in place of Murphy, ended up hitting a home run in the first game (which we should’ve won).
Secondly, Daniel Murphy has always given his all for this team and has earned nothing but respect from the fans.
I’m sure I am not alone in saying that I was not a fan of his even as recently as 2011 but over the past few seasons, he has become a crucial part of this team and one I was strongly against trading this offseason. In recent seasons when the injury bug has done serious damage to the Mets, Murphy was always the one who stayed healthy and battled through disappointing season after disappointing season.
I never thought I’d be saying this but with injuries shortening David Wright‘s season in 2013, Daniel Murphy became arguably our best and most consistent hitter. He has become a leader of the team and without a doubt earned the right to spend 2 days with his wife and newborn child.
Finally, people are blowing this out of proportion because of the general idea rather than the specific situation. From following Murphy and his career with the Mets, it’s obvious he wants nothing more than to win with this team and I guarantee that if this situation were to present itself in a playoff race or even during the playoffs (as we saw with Cole Hamels) there is absolutely no chance, unless in case of emergency, that Murphy would miss any more time than necessary, if any time at all.
We’ve got a long season ahead of us and there may not be many opportunities for Murph to see his wife and child, let him get it out of the way now and focus on playing the best baseball he can.
My question to the readers is this: Do you have a problem with Daniel Murphy missing 2 games to be with his wife and newborn?
(There is video from Mike Francesa with further details on the comments from the radio hosts at this link and some of the best (and worst) tweets on the situation can be found below.)
NY fans, embrace Cromartie who can’t remember his 9 kid’s name from 6 women. Destroy Daniel Murphy for being at his wife’s side for 1st kid
— E.J.Stankiewicz (@TheHappyRecap) April 3, 2014
I have no problem with Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave, but having seen him play, I’d think twice about letting him hold a newborn.
— Matthew Blankman (@blankemon) April 3, 2014
Why does Daniel Murphy have to defend his paternity leave? The insinuation that you should be anything but a family man first is disgusting.
— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) April 3, 2014
Always been a Twins fan, but today I am a Daniel Murphy fan.
— JulianFromMoorhead (@derjukee) April 4, 2014
I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that Daniel Murphy’s missing 2 games for paternity leave was somehow controversial.
— Dayn Perry (@daynperry) April 4, 2014