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New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is drawing heat for being with his wife as she had her baby, and then having the nerve to take a full three days of league-allowed paternity leave. In fact, Boomer Esiason suggested that they should have scheduled a C-section to avoid this whole problem in the first place. On what planet should a baseball career come before family to the point where elective surgery would be the solution?
Boomer, you're crazy
Esiason is a well-known public figure who took up sports broadcasting after he left the limelight as an NFL quarterback, most famously for the Cincinnati Bengals. Currently, he's an analyst for CBS Sports, primarily for NFL Today, as well as a morning radio co-host and analyst for Monday Night Football.
"Quite frankly I would've said C-section before the season starts," he said on his show, Boomer and Carton. "I need to be at opening day. I'm sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we're going to live our life, this is going to give our 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."
There are so many flaws to this logic it makes my head spin.
For starters, it's baseball. It's MLB. There are 162 games in a year. Yes, his job is important, but it is not a job that he absolutely, 100 percent needs to be present for, for every game of the long, long baseball season. This is the birth of a child, an event that only takes place once. Guys don't play ball because they have influenza or need to heal a hurt thumb. I'd say this is a bigger event in a man's life. No, having a baby isn't an illness, but being there for your partner as she has your child is important and honorable, and dare I say, more important than the few games Dad will miss as a result.
C-sections are not optional
Also, suggesting that they should have scheduled a C-section is completely ridiculous. While most C-sections go off without a hitch, they are always major surgery, and they are not much fun for Mom. A surgical birth also carries risks for both the mother and her baby. Choosing for your wife to have a C-section so you can play baseball is irresponsible and ludicrous, particularly since the new dad only has three days to be at home, at a maximum, with his wife and new child. I've had a C-section. Only one, and it was 18 years ago. But it's not fun, it hurts, and it's hard to take care of yourself, much less a newborn baby (which is why I chose VBAC the next three times). What type of a man would suggest that his wife go through that and then say, "Catch ya later?"
Another point. Missing three days (which is allowed within MLB's rulebook) is not going to ruin this chap's finances. It won't really make a dent. It's not going to keep his baby out of whatever college he wants to go to. It's not going to derail Murphy's financial plans one bit.
Unfortunately, the culture of sports talk radio seems to be on Team Boomer, but I think what Murphy did was absolutely the right thing — and I'm sure I'm not alone. I love baseball, but a dude missing three games because his wife had a baby? Not a big deal. Esiason needs to stick to sports analysis and forget about discussing childbirth, because he's clearly clueless and totally wrong.