x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Radio host should be sent to bed with no supper

None of the programs on the New York sports-radio station WFAN will be mistaken for the Algonqion Round Table, but even by the genre’s low standards, some of Gotham’s finest blowhards outdid themselves recently.

New York Mets' Daniel Murphy stands by his decision to take paternity leave to witness the birth of his first child. Murphy made his season debut Thursday three days after the birth of son, Noah, which set radio host Mike Francesa off on a tirade at the second baseman's selfishness. Seth Wenig / AP Photo
New York Mets' Daniel Murphy stands by his decision to take paternity leave to witness the birth of his first child. Murphy made his season debut Thursday three days after the birth of son, Noah, which set radio host Mike Francesa off on a tirade at the second baseman's selfishness. Seth Wenig / AP Photo

None of the programs on the New York sports-radio station WFAN will be mistaken for the Algonqion Round Table, but even by the genre’s low standards, some of Gotham’s finest blowhards outdid themselves recently.

The New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed the first two games of the season to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Normally, this would not be news, but WFAN hosts Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason appeared to take it as an affront to the game.

Francesa decried Murphy’s decision and called paternity leave a “scam” and a “gimmick”. Esiason said Murphy should have demanded his wife get a Caesarian section done before the season to make sure he would be available on Opening Day. Even for people whose living depends on their ability to bloviate on any topic, this shows a stunning lack of empathy.

Murphy played 161 out of 162 games last season and used only two of the three days of paternity leave to which he was legally entitled; this is not a man who shirks responsibility. Esiason has since apologised for playing armchair obstetrician, while Francesa has dug in his heels and stood by his remarks.

Supporters of this sort of loudly and proudly Neanderthalic discourse may prefer to cloak it as being “tough” or “old-school”, but in reality it is just embarrassing. Suggesting Murphy prioritise a child’s game above his own child says far more about the pundits than the player.

pfreelend@thenational.ae

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