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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Murphy ad-libbed White House speech

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- A day after speaking at a White House summit on working families, Daniel Murphy said at Citi Field that most of his comments were off the top of his head, not scripted.

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Murphy was invited to D.C. because he was the object of talk-radio flak for taking paternity leave the first two games of the season to be present at the birth of his first child, Noah, on Opening Day.

He told the White House audience Monday: "When Noah asks me one day, 'What happened? What was it like when I was born?' I could have answered, 'Well, Stephen Strasburg hung me a breaking ball that day, son, and I slammed it into the right-field corner.' But I think it's going to go so much further in that I'm the one who cut his umbilical cord. And long after they tell me that I'm not good enough to play professional baseball anymore, I'll be a father. And I'll be a husband. So that was a reason on the front end that I wanted to be there for my wife and for my son."

Said Murphy about those comments on Tuesday at Citi Field: "That was ad-libbed. That was nothing against Stephen at all. That one kind of came to me. I guess I'll tell him, 'a 1-for-4 day.' It kind of got the point across that being with my son is where my wife and I both wanted me to be."

Murphy took a red eye from San Francisco to D.C. to participate in the event on the Mets' off-day. His mother, father-in-law, wife and son accompanied him. They got a White House tour. Murphy then spoke at 11:30 a.m. He also attended one panel discussion on working families.

"It was cool," Murphy said. "I didn't feel like it was overwhelming or anything, other than the lack of experience I have as a working dad. Other than that, it was enjoyable. I'm glad we did it."

Murphy explained the point of the conference as "the role of working fathers and how it's changing."

Said Murphy: "I only listened to one panel. They had three of them. What I took from it was how the role of working fathers and the perception is changing."

Asked if would thank talk radio for his invitation, Murphy dryly said: "Probably not. I thanked my son."