Daniel Murphy, Paternity Leave, Boomer Esiason’s Lobotomy, and the White House

Mets second baseman and sports’-only-parental-role-model Daniel Murphy was in the news in April when he missed the first two games of the season to be with his wife for the birth of their son (who was unfortunately born a Mets fan, a condition that will make it difficult for him to function normally).

This week, Murphy was a guest at the White House for a discussion about working dads.

Readers might recall that, at the time Murphy took his leave, Boomer Esiason suggested Murphy’s wife should have had a C-section before the season. Interestingly enough, Esiason scheduled his own lobotomy to occur right before he made that remark.

I have one and only one problem with baseball players taking paternity leave to be there for the births of their children:

It makes it much more difficult to justify missing your own child’s birth because of a fantasy draft. I mean, a committed fantasy player used to be able to say, “hey, honey, the players have to play when their wives give birth– that means I have to play too.” (Or in the case of female fantasy players, “hey, honey, the players have to play– that means we’re doing the draft from my hospital room, while I’m pushing, I don’t care if our friends all pass out, that just means no one’s conscious enough to top my bid for Mike Trout.”)

But now, in today’s modern age of modern gender roles and modern equality, and expectations that mothers and fathers both have to know their child’s name and what he or she is allergic to, you can’t just blow off labor and delivery to go pick your team. Instead you have to spend the last two weeks of June being completely celibate so there’s less of a chance the birth will interfere with the draft. (Hey, celibate half-June 2014 is coming up soon! Get ready!)

Did I have a point? I don’t know. Of course baseball players should be able to be there when their kids are born. They’re fathers too– and their kids are going to be around a lot longer than their careers.

(And for a different piece about fatherhood, you’re invited to read this thing I wrote for Medium yesterday, “How one trip to the airport made me a feminist,” not at all about baseball, and mostly about breast pumps, but maybe interesting anyway!)




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


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Umpire Weekend
Guest
Umpire Weekend
1 year 11 months ago

Waited until August just to be safe. She delivered 6 weeks early, right on draft day.

The one time in my life where I could relate to Hopeless Joe.

Grant
Guest
Grant
1 year 11 months ago

I had a baby 1 week before our fantasy draft, had to miss out being there, but did Skype in, talk about hard to follow, especially in the later rounds when people are getting stupid, and drinking lots. Never make that mistake again. I really have to blame my friend for having a wedding towards the middle of June allowing us to be away from our 2 year old to have time to do the nasty.

Utah Dave
Guest
Utah Dave
1 year 11 months ago

I read your article on Medium. Nicely done. Somehow one gets the feeling if men were inconvenienced in this manner a solution would be at hand.

Bill
Guest
Bill
1 year 11 months ago

I’m curious as the rational behind the belief that a ballplayer earning many millions of dollars for 6 months of work is somehow representative of “working dads”. And of those 6 months, as a Met, he ceases to appear in meaningful games sometime around the end of April.

Shawn Young
Guest
Shawn Young
1 year 11 months ago

C’mon man. It’s the Obama administration. Get with the program.

Mr. Observant
Guest
Mr. Observant
1 year 11 months ago

Point of clarification – It’s the first of April re: your point towards to end of meaningful games played by the Mets…

That Guy
Guest
That Guy
1 year 11 months ago

I previously had nothing but good things to say about the Obama administration, but this incisive witticism in the comments section of a baseball-related website has completely changed my mind.

Trust that I’ll be forwarding your CV to Fox News, along with a link to this comment, posthaste.

The country deserves and NEEDS to hear your analysis.

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