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The ugly side of the New York sports media was made made visible to the entire country this week when radio hosts criticized Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for taking paternity leave, missing the first two games of the season. Boomer Esiason, who suggested that Murphy and his wife should have rescheduled the C-section for before Opening Day, has since apologized of the comments.
Murphy, one of the Mets’ best players, rushed to Florida Sunday night after he found out that his wife’s water broke. He got there in time to see the birth of his son, Noah, on Monday, just an hour before the Mets officially opened the season against the Washington Nationals. The team had Tuesday off, but Murphy decided to stay with his wife on Wednesday. He flew back to New York and played in Thursday’s game.
Before Thursday’s game, Murphy’s paternity leave suddenly became a controversy. Mike Francesa reportedly said on WFAN Wednesday that Murphy should have hired a nurse, notes ESPN. “What are you gonna do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for two days?” he said. Esiason suggested on his WFAN show that Murphy and his wife should have had the “C-section before the season starts.”
According to TMZ, Esiason spent part of Friday morning’s show apologizing for the comments. He said that he’s sorry his comments put Murphy and his life “under a spotlight.”
“That is my fault for uttering the word ‘C-section’ on this radio station,” Esiason, a retired NFL player, said. “No man should have to go through that. And certainly Daniel Murphy, who we both admire much as a baseball player as anybody else -- and all I can say is that I truly, truly, feel terrible about what I put them through. So for that I certainly apologize.”
As for Murphy, he told the media Thursday that he believed he did the right thing, noting how difficult it would have been for her wife to come up to New York.
“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,” Murphy said. “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.”
Murphy has spent his entire career with the Mets and played in every single game last season. The season before, he played in 156 games.