NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Daniel Murphy was back in the lineup — and singled in his first at-bat of the season — Thursday afternoon after being placed on paternity leave prior to the New York Mets’ opener.
Murphy left the team Monday to be with his wife in Florida for the birth of their son, Noah.
The 29-year-old responded in stride to criticism from two WFAN radio shows regarding his time away from the club. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton — co-hosts of the “Boomer & Carton” show — and Mike Francesa touched off a nationwide debate Wednesday when they said if they were in the same situation, they’d want to get back to work.
“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 (Wednesday),” said Murphy, who acknowledged he was aware of the comments.
Mets manager Terry Collins had a different sort of reaction, going to bat for his second baseman who played in 161 games last season:
Murphy took high road, but Collins came out swinging: "When you start attacking Dan Murphy’s credibility, you need to look in the mirror."
— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) April 3, 2014
More Collins: "You’re attacking a guy’s integrity…He is an old-school player. It’s his first child."
— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) April 3, 2014
Collins’ remarks were in response to the WFAN hosts, including Francesa, who said Wednesday that he took a day at most following the birth of his children.
“I don’t know why you need three days off, I’m gonna be honest,” Francesa said. “I mean, you see the birth and you get back.”
MLB players are allowed up to three days paternity leave under the collective bargaining agreement.
“She had surgery and she was wiped. Having me there helped a lot, and vice versa, to take some of the load off,” Murphy said. “It felt like the right decision to make.”
Esiason, Carton and Francesa stood their ground on Thursday despite the backlash.
“It’s a very personal, private thing that people have certain feelings about. What can I tell you?” Esiason said. “If it were me, I’d want to go to work. I’d want to be back at work. I’d want to be able to be with my team, because I have a responsibility to that team.”
How Much Time Should New Fathers Take? Dads Weigh In
CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu asked some New Yorkers how much time a new father should take off from work. The fathers she found had all sorts of answers.
“For my first daughter, my eldest, I took approximately six weeks,” said David Lindsay.
“I probably just took off a couple days,” said Garrett DeGraff.
Nick Sistarenik is expecting his first child in September, so how much paternity leave will he take?
“Probably at least a few days, maybe a week,” he said.
Dana Glazer produced a documentary called “The Evolution of Dad” on the changing role of fatherhood, and he said there is often a stigma attached to men who take more than a few days off for their newborn.
“There’s a lot of pressure for them not to take paternity leave; for them to be at work as much as possible, because they feel if they don’t do that, they’re going to be the quote, ‘daddy track’ and that will mean that they could be fired,” Glazer said.
While some companies offer about two weeks of paternity leave, Glazer said many dads will only take a few days — some for financial reasons, others feeling the pressure of looking undedicated to their jobs.
Erik Lindner only had the choice of taking vacation time when his kids were born.
“I absolutely wish my company would have offered paternity leave. I definitely would have taken it,” he said. “I have three boys, and I would have loved to have spent time plenty of time with them when they were originally first born.”
Katalina Vega has two children, and she says paternity leave is key for the whole family.
“The father needs to bond with the baby, I believe, and also the mom needs the help.
Tom McManus said back in his working days, there was no choice.
“They were born one day, I was back to work the next day,” he said.
McManus said he missed out big time with his kids, and had some advice for any dad struggling with whether to take time off for a new baby.
“They should take it, because before you know it your kids are grown up and saying, ‘I missed out on so much.”
McManus said it took him years to learn that lesson.
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