Thursday, April 3, 2014


Okay, you've waited all night, here's my reaction to the whole Daniel Murphy controversy. And, just so you know, I am removing my Mets fan hat for MOST of this post and approaching this as a working father....I'll start light:

1. Yes, there are plenty of places that would require you to return to work the day after the birth of your child, but that's not the argument here. Daniel Murphy was given the blessing of the entire Mets organization, from owners to the manager to his teammates, to take three days to be with his new family. He works a job where this is possible and permissible. Not always the case, but it's an invalid argument. If I were a teammate, I would never, ever question the decision. According to the RAM Financial Group, the average MLB career is 5.6 seasons. Family is a lot longer than that. In a day and age where we have athletes that forget the names of all their children, play a game instead of helping figure out what happened ("dubious" paternity not withstanding) and names like Travis Henry, Shawn Kemp and Iron Mike Tyson, we're angry that a man chose to be with his wife and new child.

2. Most of my criticism is of the three gasbags that made this an issue. They are taking the Four Letter path of news: making it, not reporting it. Now I know that Francesa and Boomer/Carton are "personalities" not journalists, but this is just about everything that is wrong with America in 2014: the deep desire to go back to the "good old days" and that women are somehow less important than men. While Carton and Boomer never say it explicitly, they imply that men only need to be around for the birth("it's not like he's breast feeding the kid" and "I've got four of these little rug rats. There's nothing to do") because everything else is the woman's role (I'll get to that in a second). And Francesa's constant haranguing about the good old days. These are the two biggest problems we have today: that somehow women are the only ones responsible for the care of a child and that things were better in the good old days. The interesting thing that I find about sports is that they are a microcosm of society. It sounds silly, but they are. In our 21st century society right now, there is a "war on women" that is working hard at pushing women backwards not forward, from what a woman does to their body to how much a woman earns and this is a perfect example of it. Taking care of a child isn't just a woman's job. It's the 21st century, move forward boys. I despise the "back in my day" thing. I'm guilty of it for sure. Ask me about the NBA slam dunk competition and I become the "get off my damn lawn guy" but part of the reason baseball is a distant fourth in modern sports awareness is the complete and total compulsion to the "good old days." (If you are wondering: 1. Football, 2. Basketball, 3. Soccer (another post), 4. Baseball) Move forward or die, folks...and as much as I love it, baseball is dying.

3. While Carton, Boomer and Francesa never explicitly say it, they certainly imply that Murphy's desire to be with his wife is somehow unmanly. First of all, the idea of being "manly" is that dumbest thing I've ever heard. It sounds right out of 1950, which as we can see in #2 is kind of what guys like this seem to want to go back to. I've said this before and I will say it again: being a father is the manliest thing I've ever done. Everything involved in being a father has made me even more manly. Now if taking time away from my job makes me less of a man, then so be it. When my daughter was born, I was out of work for 7 days (14 if you count the fact that school was out for a week in between) and 4 for my son (11 since he was born during a school break). I guess that makes me a mega-super unman, since that was almost 4 and 5 times what Daniel Murphy took. The concept of "be a man" as they seem to define it is woefully old fashioned and has changed. Is Carton more of a man because his wife cares for his "rugrats" (I find that lovely as well)? How much of a man is Francesa, who can't even make it through his show without a nap any more? Define what it means to be "manly" and I'm thinking being a radio host isn't one of those things. I feel kind of bad for Mrs. Carton, Mrs. Francesa and Mrs. Esiason.

4. "She should have scheduled a c-section.." Um, no, just no. But then again this is a grown man named Boomer.

5. I'll put my fan hat on for the last two. I'm a die hard Mets fan, no secret there. I don't begrudge Murphy for taking the time to spend with his family. I would say 99.99 % of fans have no issue with this. From what I've seen on social media/comments sections, it doesn't seem like baseball fans as a whole think what happened was worthy of any level of scorn. It's two games out of a 162 game season. Murphy is one of the most durable players in MLB. He missed 1 game all of last season. 1 GAME! That's unheard of in this day and age. Cut the guy some slack for no other reason than that.

6. Here's the one where I'll get the most guff, I'm sure. Daniel Murphy plays for the New York Mets. It's easy to take pot shots. The question that I have is: if he were a Yankee would this be as big a story? One wonders, if this were St. Jeter, wouldn't we be celebrating this? I think we would. Francesa is a Yankee sycophant and known Met hater (I don't entirely disagree with him here, FWIW). The Mets are the annoying little brother to the Yanks and will always be treated as such. It's easy for Francesa to take a shot at a Met because it's part of his schtick and it's an old, boring schtick. But then again, he's "old school." Boomer and Carton are just a dried up meatheat ex-jock working with a meathead wannabe ex-jock that think they are half as clever as Howard Stern, but they really aren't. Watch and listen to The Dan Patrick Show if you want to hear the closest thing to a sports Howard Stern...Dan's a fan of Howard that's studied how he does his show and used what works and makes interesting on Howard's show on his own. I'll give you a hint, it's not saying something outrageous for the sake of being outrageous.

Look, we live in the 21st century. It's time to start acting as such. So, f**k Doug Gottlieb.

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