(CBS) Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy caught a firestorm of sports talk radio criticism in New York for missing the first two games of the season to be by his wife’s side as the couple’s first child was born.

WFAN radio host Mike Francesa was the most vocal in criticizing Murphy, who missed Monday’s season opener and Wednesday’s contest against the Nationals as he traveled to Florida for the birth of his son Monday.

“One day I understand,” Francesa said, according to the New York Daily News. “And in the old days they didn’t do that. But one day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.

“What are you going to do? I mean you are going to sit there and look at your wife in a hospital bed for two days?” he mocked. “Your wife doesn’t need your help the first couple of days; you know that you’re not doing much the first couple days with the baby that was just born.”

Boomer Esiason, another WFAN host, also added that Murphy should’ve told his wife, “Have a C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day, I’m sorry.”

Baseball players are allowed a three-day paternity leave as a part of the collective bargaining agreement.

Murphy professionally defended his decision Thursday upon his return to the team.

“It’s going to be tough for her to get up to New York for a month,” Murphy said, according to ESPN. “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. 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.”


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