Sports Yakkers: Daniel Murphy’s wife should’ve had a C-section so he could “get his ass back to work”

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The stuff yesterday in which folks reacted negatively to Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy going on paternity leave has hit the sports yakkers. Today Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason took on the subject. Their take: in Esiason’s words, Murphy should “get his ass back to work.” Boomer also says that Murphy’s wife should’ve had a C-section before the season started so Murphy didn’t miss any time:

 

For his part, Mike Francesa called paternity leave “a scam-and-a-half” and started ranting about the very concept of paternity leave, saying that Murphy is rich enough to where he should hire a nurse to look after his wife and child.

For their part, the Mets have been nothing but supportive of Murphy. Here’s Terry Collins:

“He missed two games,” the manager said. “It’s not like he has missed ten. When you start attacking Dan Murphy’s credibility, you need to look in the mirror a little bit . . . The man had his first child. He is allowed to be there. The rules state that he can be there, so he went. There is nothing against it. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Murphy himself took a more diplomatic approach, but made it clear where his priorities stand:

“I can only speak for my experience,” Murphy said. “She was completely finished. She was done. She had had surgery, and she was wiped. So having me there, I think, helped a lot, and vice versa.”

Not that he should have to defend himself. Paternity leave has been shown to have a number of huge benefits, including but not limited to helping forge stronger family bonds and benefiting women who desire to go back into the workforce following the birth of their children. At least one study has shown that the lack of paternal involvement in infant care is significantly associated with the intensity of maternal postpartum depression.

Maybe a rich professional athlete’s partner has financial and personal resources great enough to where the father’s absence can be made up for in part, thereby limiting the necessity of paternity leave compared to that of normal people. But mocking an athlete for taking paternity leave like this is to mock the very concept of paternity leave altogether and to make it seem that much more unacceptable for men to do the right thing and be there for their child and its mother at the most critical of times.

While it’s ridiculous that anyone listens to these yakkers and takes anything approaching an example from them, the fact is that many do. Shame on these neanderthals for mocking paternity leave in general and Daniel Murphy specifically.

MLB to crack down on sign stealing

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We’ve had a couple of notable incidents of sign stealing in Major League Baseball over the past couple of years. Most famously, the Red Sox were found to be using Apple Watches of all things to relay signs spied via video feed. Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that there have been other less-publicized and unpublicized incidents as well, mostly with in-house TV cameras — as opposed to network TV cameras — stationed in the outfield and trained on catchers, for the specific purpose of stealing signs.

As such, SI reports, Major League Baseball is cracking down beginning this year. Within the next couple weeks an already-drafted and circulated rule will take effect which will (a) ban in-house outfield cameras from foul pole to foul pole; (b) will limit live broadcasts available to teams to the team’s replay official only, and the replay official will be watched by a league official to keep them from relaying signs to the team; and (c) other TV monitors that are available to the clubs will be on an eight-second delay to prevent real-time sign stealing. There will likewise be limits on TV monitors showing the game feed in certain places like tunnels and clubhouses.

Penalties for violation of the rules will include the forfeiting of draft picks and/or international spending money. General managers will have to sign a document in which they swear they know of know sign-stealing schemes.

As was the case when the Apple Watch incident came up, there will not be any new rules regarding old fashioned sign stealing by runners on second base or what have you, as that is viewed as part of the game. Only the technology-aided sign stealing that has become more prominent in recent years — but which has, of course, existed in other forms for a very, very long time — is subject to the crackdown.

While gamesmanship of one form or another has always been part of baseball, the current wave of sign-stealing is seen as a pace-of-play issue just as much as a fairness issue. Because of the actual sign-stealing — and because of paranoia that any opponent could be stealing signs — clubs have gone to far more elaborate and constantly changing sign protocols. This requires mound meetings and pitchers coming off the rubber in order to re-start the increasingly complex series of signs from dugout to catcher and from catcher to pitcher.

Now, presumably, with these new rules coming online, teams will figure out a new way to cheat. It’s baseball, after all. It’s in their DNA.