Mets Second Baseman In Hot Water for Taking a Three-Day Paternity Leave — and You Won’t Believe Why

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

Ready for some news that will piss the pants off your Friday afternoon? Daniel Murphy, the New York Mets second baseman and brand new daddy, decided to miss out on the first two games of the 2014 baseball season to be by his wife’s bedside at the birth of their first child. A new daddy wanting to be with his wife for their first baby’s birth? Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, depends who you ask.

On Sunday night around midnight, Murphy’s wife told her husband that her water had broken. Like any daddy-to-be would do, Murphy took off from New York and headed to Florida to be there in time to watch his wife deliver their 8 pound, 2 ounce baby boy Noah at noon on Monday, March, 31. Baby boy was happy and healthy and mom, recovering from a c-section, was overjoyed. The Opening Day Pitch for the Mets hit the plate an hour after Noah’s arrival, around 1 pm, without Murphy.

Because the Mets were off on Tuesday, Murphy took his measly three-day paternity leave and stayed with his wife and their newborn son through Wednesday. He missed two games (Monday and Wednesday), but returned to his team in time for Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals.

As baby and mom rested and recovered, the controversy was just beginning to heat up. On his radio show, Mike Francesa said, “You’re a major league baseball player. You can hire a nurse. What are you gonna do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for two days?” Um… YEP. That’s exactly what any new daddy is going to do. He’s going to stare and smile and revel in the beauty of the life he’s just co-created. He’s going to change his first poopy diapers, hold his newborn in his arms, kiss his wife repeatedly and wonder just how the hell he’s going to nail this parenting thing (psst, daddy, you will. We promise). And he has every right to do that.

Similarly digusting, another WFAN radio host, Boomer Esiason, chimed in to share that if it were up to him, his wife would have had a “C-section before the season starts.” Sorry, jack, but most first-time mothers don’t exactly plan their c-section deliveries ahead of time. Most don’t even know they’re going to have to deliver via c. It just happens. Much like life, it’s unpredictable.

Following the media frenzy that sparked after his insensitive comments, Esiason issued a statement saying, “I just want to say again on this radio show that in no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do. I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that. That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do. And the other thing, too, that I really felt bad about is that Daniel Murphy and Tori Murphy were dragged into a conversation, and their whole life was exposed. And it shouldn’t have been.”

The Mets manager, Terry Rollins, also echoed his opinions on the rude and unfair nature of the comments. “I’m sure there might be some guy along the way that said, ‘Hey, listen, it’s too far to go. It’s too far to travel. I’ll see you in a few days,'” he said, adding, “But you know what? I certainly feel it’s very unfair to criticize Dan Murphy.”

But it was the calm, cool and collected new daddy that summed it up best. He said, “I got a couple of text messages about it, so I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I didn’t hear about it, 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. It’s going to be tough for her to get up to New York for a month. I can only speak from my experience — a father seeing his wife — she was completely finished. I mean, she was done. She had surgery and she was wiped. Having me there helped a lot, and vice versa, to take some of the load off. … It felt, for us, like the right decision to make.”

As he’s just so right.

Do you think daddy’s should get a bigger maternity leave?

Plus, more from The Bump:

New Daddy Boot Camp!

How Does Yahoo’s New Maternity Leave Measure Up to Yours?

Google’s New Maternity Leave Policy Revealed — Is It As Awesome As You Expect?