Murphy was right to be with family

By Tony McDaniel

Daniel Murphy plays second base for the New York Mets and is arguably one of their best players.

Last season Murphy played in all but one game for the Mets and posted a .286 batting average along with 78 RBIs.

This season Murphy missed the Mets’ first two games of the season because he was with his wife to be there for the birth of his first son, Noah. Something that all athletes, not just in baseball,  do.


The practice is so common that in 2011 Major League Baseball created a three-day paternity leave list which allows the players to still be compensated for the time they miss.  The rule also allows the teams to add another player to the roster so they wont have to play short-handed for those three days.

So everything worked out perfectly for Murphy and the Mets right? The New York media thinks otherwise.

Murphy caught lots of flack over the last few days over his decision to miss the first two games of the season.

The most prominent figure to speak out against Murphy was former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason on his radio show “Boomer and Carton” on WFAN Radio in New York.  Esiason had this to say about Murphy’s decision to take leave from the team.

“Quite frankly, I would’ve said, ‘C-section before the season starts, I need to be at opening day. This is what makes our money,” he said.

Wow, way to show what’s really important in life to you Boomer. Clearly money comes before family in Esiason’s mind.  Esiason has two kids and a wife himself. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Esiason household to see his wife’s reaction to what he said.

Personally, if I were Esiason’s wife I’d tell him to fend for himself for dinner. I would even be nice enough to make him a nice comfy bed on the couch.


Who does Esiason think he is to tell Murphy, via a radio show no less, how to handle the birth of his first son?

Also, who would ever have the gall to tell their very pregnant wife, “You need to get a C-section. The team needs me for opening day more than you and this child need me.”

Clearly not Daniel Murphy.

Esiason went on to say pro-athletes should never take paternity leave. Why?  They aren’t politicians or in the military.  They’re basically just playing a game in the end.  If they take the day off no one gets hurt, international policy doesn’t crumble, the economy doesn’t crash. The worst that can happen is their team loses, which the Mets did, but that’s beside the point.

Family comes first, that’s the bottom line here.  I applaud Murphy for his decision to be with his wife and newborn son. Why should he have to miss that, or anyone for that matter?  It could be the most important moment in he and his wife’s life. He shouldn’t have to miss that to play in a baseball game, and I’m glad to hear he didn’t miss it.

Esiason should stick to talking about sports on his radio show, and maybe keep all those thoughts on how to be a good parent, but better teammate, to himself.

In the future, I will be certain to follow Murphy’s lead and be there every second of my child’s life from the very start. I will also be sure not to tell the future Mrs. McDaniel to get a C-section because there is something else I need to do. That seems like it would buy me an express ticket to the doghouse.

Tony McDaniel can be reached at [email protected], @tonymcdanielDE or at 536-3311 ext. 282