TODAY | April 04, 2014
>>> daniel murphy , the second baseman for the new york mets missed the season's first two games this week because he was out with the birth of his first child.
>> that's right. his decision did not sit well with sportscasters that sparked a heated discussion about paternity leave .
>> good morning, guys. matt, savannah. it is a newly ignited hot topic in and outside the world of sports. and as a brand new dad myself, i've got a unique perspective on it all.
>> number 28, daniel murphy !
>> little did daniel murphy know that when he missed the first two games of the mets season to be with his wife and newborn son his absence would strike such a chord.
>> i need to be at opening day . i'm sorry, this is what makes our money.
>> get back to your team and play baseball. that's my take on it. there's nothing you can do anyway. you're not breast-feeding the kid.
>> your wide doesn't need your help the first couple of days you know that.
>> he defended his decision thursday saying he wanted to be there for his wife.
>> it is exhilarating. my wife and i really, really enjoyed the experience. she is too good of a woman for me. so it was a humbling process to see how well she handled it. it was an awesome occasion to see just the birth of your son. i can't really describe it.
>> major league baseball allows three paid days for new dads. most don't provide any. according to a 2012 study, just 13% of businesses provide paid paternity leave . still, roughly 85% of new dads use vacation days or forgo a paycheck altogether to take time off. something previous generations didn't even consider.
>> the expectation around fatherhood was you made money. you might pop in for a few key moments, but you really were a dad if you were providing resources for the rest of the family.
>> in my house, these days, the family expects more from dad. meet delano joseph melvin, 25 days old we call him del. we have what's called a baby bonding period. two weeks paid paternity leave . i took both and added two vacation days. my wife lindsey led me to believe she's grateful.
>> not just the help. it's more about the time you've been able to spend with him. right?
>> and you're not going to make me cry. because that's not going to happen and i'm like five words in and --
>> i asked one question. i asked one question.
>> but no, i think it's about the amount of time. and you getting to experience all the firsts, like look at how much he has changed in just a few weeks, in just a few weeks from when he's come home.
>> the chance to enjoy and celebrate the small moments. together.
>> oh, yeah.
>> we're all crying.
>> we should note here, boomer esiason apologized on the show. he said, quote, i'm truly sorry for the insensitive comments i made earlier this week about paternity leave .
>> ignited a fire storm .