BOSTON (CBS) – Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets is taking more time coming back from his child’s birth than some New York radio hosts would like, which led Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti into a discussion about the topic of athletes and paternity leave.
The talking heads at our sister station WFAN in New York City are all up in arms about this story, unable to fathom the thought of the city’s second baseman taking time off to see his wife and newborn.
Now, in most lines of work fathers are granted paternity leave and Major League Baseball is no different. The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association allows for up to a three-day absence.
Murphy got word of his wife in labor Sunday night and flew out to see her. He missed the Mets’ first game on Monday, then on Tuesday the team had a day off. He missed Wednesday’s game and returned in time for Thursday’s game to be with his team, so he was well within his right as a player — albeit a little too long for some.
“I don’t have a huge problem with Murphy missing opening day. I feel like he should have been back for the second game, like it shouldn’t have taken that long even though I understand what’s in the CBA. … I would have been back for the second game if I were Murphy,” said Tony Mazz to kick off the discussion.
WFAN’s morning drive host Boomer Esiason went as far as to say that Murphy’s wife should have had a C-section before the season to avoid this conflict altogether.
Michael Felger doesn’t think he should have gone to those extremes, but he did offer an opinion on paternity leave in general.
“I’m not on board with the C-section. You can’t force that on your wife so you can get back to work early. BUT, that being said, I think people have gone way too far on the other side piling on these WFAN guys for saying get back to work. I think that’s a totally reasonable thing. Two games? One game is one thing…but now two?”
“Yeah, with an off day in between,” added Mazz.
“If it is a standard birth, and everyone is okay, how long do you need? I’m with the WFAN guys on that one. In certain jobs a lot of people are relying on you. A lot of livelihoods are at stake. … Jobs are on the line. Coaches get fired. Front office people get fired. There’s hundreds of people relying on you, and other people are gonna suffer because of it? I’m sorry, there are certain jobs where you have to get back to work,” Felger concluded.
What would you have done in Daniel Murphy’s situation? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section and listen below for the full discussion: