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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Uncle Murph

I’ve got one word for Daniel Murphy, and it’s not because he’s the brother of either of my parents, because he’s not. The word is “Uncle.”

I’ll say it again: Uncle, as in stop it, stop it, stop it. I give.

You’re the man. You never should have been allowed to escape to Washington. You should’ve been paid by your longtime employer. We should have accepted your infield foibles and baserunning miscalculations and whatever else it was we didn’t find net-positive about you and instead handed you a bat and asked you to live up to your offensive potential for us.

Is this hindsight? Hell yes, it’s hindsight. As humans, we are imbued with the ability to sort through recent evidence and come to revised conclusions. Only idiot radio hosts with names like Mad Dog would bark that people can’t change their minds when compelled.

After Saturday night’s game, in which Murph went his usual 9-for-9 with fifty runs batted in against whoever the Mets threw at him, I am compelled to admit thinking that, ah, we’re better off with Neil Walker was December wisdom that doesn’t quite click in July.

Neil Walker’s a good, solid second baseman who is a perfectly serviceable hitter, sometimes a very productive one. But we can stop kidding ourselves that he is an overall upgrade over the Daniel Murphy who exists right now, essentially the same Daniel Murphy who swallowed two postseason series whole last October. At this stage of 2016, taking Walker over Murphy is like choosing the respectable court-appointed lawyer who looked good in a suit over Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny. Murphy’s methods as a Met may have been as unorthodox as Vincent Gambini’s in defending Ralph Macchio and friend in Alabama, but who drove off with the pennant and Marisa Tomei as the closing credits rolled?

To be clear, I prefer Walker in the categories of glove and savvy, and I have no complaints about him in a vacuum. I also, potential seriousness of quad injury notwithstanding, fully understand that the opportunity to re-sign the indispensable Yoenis Cespedes developed because whatever it would have cost to have retained Murphy was off the books. And I do look forward not that far down the road to the Dilson Herrera era eventually taking hold at second base. Even in the midst of a playoff chase ably aided by Cabrera to Walker to Loney, the thought of Rosario to Herrera to Smith is tantalizing.

But, c’mon. Look at what Murph is doing to everybody, never mind to us. Actually, look at what he’s doing to us, never mind what he’s doing to everybody. He’s in the worst possible National League East uniform from a competitive standpoint, one he is contracted to wear nineteen times annually against the Mets. He has seven more dates in 2016, including today, to do damage to us on behalf of the National pitching staff. Max Scherzer didn’t need that much support on Saturday. Murph provided a surfeit anyway, as he does for every one of his hurlers when the Mets are the opponent.

I dunno. Maybe if Murphy didn’t have the Mets to wreak vengeance or whatever is fueling him upon, he’d be merely outstanding, not otherworldly. Maybe Murph as a hypothetical Met this year wouldn’t be all that different from what Murph as a Met was most years. Then again, Murph was a helluva Met against the Dodgers and Cubs when we really needed him. Less so against the Royals, of course, but as long as we’re surveying small sample sizes, it’s hard not to weight his nine mammoth performances a little heavier than his five less glittering ones. Cespedes was a detriment in the World Series, too, and we surely embraced his return.

Water under the Triborough. Murph is a National. It’s a National disaster every time he bats against us. Even if it made every bit of sense to include him out of Met plans as they evolved in the offseason, it doesn’t seem so sound in the reality of the season that followed. I can almost hear one of Bob Newhart’s classic one-sided telephone conversations trying to explain how the whole thing has unfolded.

“What’s that? You let the guy hitting .349 and slugging .593 go? And he’s leading what? Oh, the league. How much of his hitting is at your expense? I see…most of it. Well, you must have had a very qualified replacement in mind…uh-huh…he’s hitting .259 and slugging more than a hundred-fifty points less. No, I guess that isn’t as good. What about his defense? His defense is fine…but, no, I suppose there is no defending balls that fly way over the fence.”

***

By the by, I was at Saturday night’s Murphfest, in which the Mets fell to the Nats, 6-1. Scherzer was unhittable, Murphy was unstoppable, yet — except for a two-out, bottom of the ninth downpour — I had a wonderful time. Two-thirds of last fall may have been covered by Daniel Murphy’s NLDS and NLCS pounding, but all of 2015 at Citi Field was defined in my scorebook by the presence of one man, and that gent, like Murph, is also back in full Flushing force this weekend.

Skid has returned! You know, Skid Rowe, the Mets fan from California who maintained a life’s dream of moving to New York for 81 home games and then actually did it. He wound up at Citi Field for 88 home games as it turned out, because Skid discovered seven prizes of the unforeseen autumnal variety at the bottom of his enormous case of Cracker Jack. I hadn’t seen him since the World Series. Nobody in New York had. Every baseball season necessarily ends, and when ’15 ended, Skid headed west.

You can only keep a determined Mets fan on the wrong side of the country for so long. Skid attended fantasy camp this past January, and this is the weekend when they hold their reunion in Queens. The campers line up on the field before Sunday’s game, play each other on Monday when nobody else is around. Skid being Skid, he decided to put together his own reunion ahead of the sanctioned version. On Saturday, he reserved a block of seats in the Hyundai (formerly Champions, formerly Ebbets) Club for the friends and friends of friends he made through his adventure last year. Stephanie and I were privileged to be in Skid’s thoughts and then in his gang for this occasion. Joining him and some other excellent folks for nine innings, regardless of a little rain and an overload of Murphy and Scherzer, represented a singular highlight for me within the current season. He’s one of those people who lights up a ballpark on a dreary night, which is no easily estimable talent. I thank Skid again for making 2015 extra memorable and 2016 that much better.

54 comments to Uncle Murph

  • It’s inaccurate to say “Murph went his usual 9-for-9 with fifty runs batted in against whoever the Mets threw at him.” It should say “whomever.”

  • Oh, was Marisa Tomei in that movie? I hadn’t noticed.

  • Mike

    Uncle? No way.

    In the past three days the Citi fans cheered when the following happened:

    1) A pitch came close to Werth’s head.
    2) Harper got drilled in the back on a pickoff play
    3) Ramos took a broken bat in the ribs.

    Sportsmanship that only a Philadelphian could admire.

    Comment edited for language.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Oh please Mike. Any reasonable person would acknowledge that EVERY stadium has its share of dingbat fans these days, but at least 2 out of the 3 “incidents”‘ you’re mentioning there are complete non stories. Harper getting hit in the back on a pickoff play I did not see and can’t comment on, other than to say Harper does everything he can to draw ire from fans. He gave them the “shhh”‘ sign after homering earlier in the series. If he can dish it out, I hope he can take it too.

    Now to the brushback pitch to Werth…what’s the problem? They were cheering a good pitch by Noah. As Keith noted, it wasn’t really all that close. Werth is a hitter that you need to make inside conscious and Noah properly executed the pitch and the crowd approved. If the crowd cheered him getting hit in the head I would call foul but that’s not what happened.

    On the play when Ramos got hit by the broken bat the crowd was cheering the runner beating the play to first. I doubt 1 in 10 knew what happened to Wilson.

  • Dave

    So Terry…intentional walks. Have you thought about intentional walks? Give it some thought. Just saying.

    I cringed every time I saw Tom Seaver in another uniform. I’m sure everyone from Kevin Mitchell to Ken Singleton to Jeff Kent to Ron Hunt had some real good days against the Mets. But if any ex-Met has ever come back to torture them like Murph, I’ve stored it away in my subconscious. I’m in DC right now and last night went for a nightcap in a craft beer bar. Nothing identifying my baseball allegiance. Yet right after I sat down, bartender somehow turns the tv that’s right in front of me to the Mets-Nats game…about 3 minutes before Murph hits his obligatory homer, which means he’s now batting 1.256 against the Mets, with 82 home runs and a slugging percentage of 6.382. For the saber types, I think his BABIP is infinity.

  • Dennis

    Greg, in spite of the result of last night’s game, very cool to see that you saw Skid Rowe. I enjoyed reading his year watching the Mets, in which of course you are mentioned in it.

    http://skidmetsfan.com/

    Let’s hope they shake off last night’s Murphy fest, get the split today and get ready for a 2nd half run. LGM!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Let’s not forget we would still have 2 more years of Murphy after this one. And, I haven’t been able to find much online about his fielding or baserunning metrics this year. Maybe he’s still the old Murph in those regards. Just saying this story isn’t over yet.

    For now, yeah, it looks bad, but I’m still happy every time the Mets pull off a smooth 6-4-3 double play (or the even more Murph-dicey 4-6-3) with no increase in my blood pressure or stress levels.

  • Gene F.

    Especially galling is the knowledge that Washington didn’t really want Murph either, settling for young Daniel when Ben Zobrist rebuffed their greater offer to forge his Father and Child Reunion with Joe (the Genius) Maddon.

    That’s Joe Maddon of the now-tied-for-third-best-record-in-baseball Cubs, btw. Hopefully Fox and MLB can get their deposit back from whatever engraver had already begun etching ‘Chicago’ on the 2016 World Series trophy.

    • Pete In Iowa

      What Gene, you don’t care for the delicate genius?? Why, look at how many World Series he’s won. Er…… never mind.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Is not merely “hindsight” on Murph for some of us. I could never understand why most people felt his power surge in playoffs wasn’t completely just one of those flukey things. He had shifted his approach and placement at the plate before playoffs and hit a number of dingers in Sept. Sure, I didn’t expect him to hit .350 (and he probably won’t) but I did predict 25 to 30 HRs. Still, as others have pointed out, if they sign him they probably don’t sign Yoenis–although that’s letting owners off the hook, who had money to do both.

    As for Herrera–I have been a fan but he has been in long slump and is hitting only .275 at Vegas which is almost impossible to do (even Eric Campbell is batting .308).

    • Dennis

      Great point about signing both Murphy and Cesepedes. While I have no inside knowledge of their finances and can’t say that they definitely had the money, you do have to wonder why keeping both wasn’t doable.

      Still, while he hasn’t reached the heights of Murphy, I’ve been happy with Walker as our second baseman. No use crying about what could have been.

    • Curt

      I wanted to keep Murphy last fall (even went on MLB radio in November arguing for it) if it was a fairly reasonable contract (what he signed with the Nats for fit). I had no idea he’d do this but thought he’d be a .280-.300 hitter and thought some of the power he showed last fall was legit – thinking 20 or so HR’s. I wanted him to move to 1B and shop Duda for prospects, preferred what Murph gives us to a hot/cold low BA, high SO player.

      Had Herrera taking over at 2B and Murphy would also fill in for David (I thought he’d give us 120 games at best).

      In none of my scenarios did I dream we’d keep Cespedes. Of course for every time I’m right I’m wrong another 9 . . .

  • eric1973

    Well, ‘whomever’ plays today, they better win, because it gets late early out there.

    Memo to Grandy (and more appropriately, Reyes):
    “It’s jail before bail, so you better not fail.”

  • richard apple

    I don’t need hindsight. Not giving Murph a new and fair contract was inexcusable. I thought it then and now. He was simply the best contact hitter around and now his power numbers compound his positives. I fail to see why anyone but his chronic (AND BLIND) naysayers are surprised. This is karma incarnate. Good for him.

  • Rob E.

    Not fair to (over)kill them on not signing Murphy. NOBODY had any reason to think he was a .340/.600 SLG player. If ANYONE thought that, he would have been flooded with offers. What are the odds that a guy has an epiphany on the EVE OF THE PLAYOFFS? Literally! What would have happened if the Mets missed the post-season last year? The Mets wouldn’t have even made the qualifying offer and he signs somewhere like Tampa Bay or San Diego for 1 year and $5 million. And the Mets made a good deal in getting Walker, who has been fine. So it’s pretty unlucky A) that he went to our direct rival, B) that he picked 2016 to have his career year (though we will always have that playoff run), and C) that he has been especially vengeful against US. But again, NOBODY could have seen this coming. It’s just one of those things that the baseball gods do from time to time (go back and see Mike Scott or even R.A. Dickey for that matter….there are more of these guys than you think in baseball).

    That being said, I thought it was shortsighted that the Mets weren’t more open-minded in making Murphy the proverbial “Ben Zobrist” considering Murphy’s skills are an overall weakness on the Mets, he was a key part of the team, and that they had two injury-prone corner infielders (who are indeed both out). But I thought that thinking Murphy was his usual .285/.330./450 self. The Mets could still use that .285/.330/.450 guy, but I wonder how many people would be killing them if Murphy was having his usual decent year and not a fluky MVP-caliber year.

    • emi

      but his usually year is what me need. him hitting in front of Cespedes was great last year

    • Will in Central NJ

      You’re absolutely right, Rob E. No one could’ve seen this incarnation of Murphy coming. As a result, in multiple quadrants of the Mets Universe, the backbiting I’ve seen and heard among Met fans has never been so heated and emotional.

  • sturock

    Hindsight *is* 20/20. At some point, you just have to move on. Murph’s BABIP is .356, he’s just having an insane career year. He was a great Met, he could always hit, but you can’t keep everybody.

    More worrisome is Herrera’s regression and the general lack of MLB-ready position-playing prospects in the minor league system right now. We need some bats already! This pitching staff is not going to be together forever, esp. considering the current trials of Harvey and Wheeler. Who knows if Zack ever comes back?

    The Mets need to get Conforto right and see what they really have in Nimmo and Flores. All this stuff takes time, the way it’s taken Daniel Murphy nine big-league seasons to turn into THIS.

  • Seth

    Murphy was homegrown talent. As good as Walker is, he’s a rented Pittsburgh Pirate. That’s where his heart is. This is a Mets’ disaster on the Seaver-77 proportions, and it will only get worse as Murphy leads his new team to the postseason.

    He had unfinished business here, and both he and the Wilpons bailed out. Ultimately, it’s the fans that suffer.

    • Dennis

      How do you know where Walker’s heart is? Have you had conversations with him about his state of mind with the Mets?

      And to compare this to the purging of Seaver is a bit overboard.

      • APV

        Yeah I’m a little tired of this hindsight bullshit too. I definitely did not want Murph back because of his defense and base running blunders, also because I think we would’ve lost Cespedes. And not having Cespedes the last two days hurt. Walker has been a good hitter but very good in the other areas. And I seem to recall the Nationals kicking the stuffing out of the Mets 2012-2014 when Murph was a Met.

        I’m as negative as they come but there’s no way Murph would be this good had he stayed. And I was very thankful for what he did last October. This cat Seth could use a refresher course on Met history. Compare Murph’s signing to the Seaver trade? At least that made me laugh.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    When Murphy signed with the Nats, I thought they would play him at third and move Rendon back to second. But what do I know? I suppose that’s why Dusty is a major league manager and I’m a retired Federal employee.

  • Sam S.

    Remember the Nats were also snubbed by Brandon Phillips in the offseason (in addition to Zobrist) before pursuing Murph. I agree with everything said by Greg. In hindsight, you’d have to be quite naive to prefer, well, anybody over Murph. But, given the information available at the time, there’s no way to blame the Mets. Righteous Nat fans like to ridicule the Mets’ “poor decision”. Yet they forget the Nats only chose Murph after being rejected by Zobrist and Phillips (and possibly others). While Phillips is also a “Met killer” (granted, not quite Murph-esque), one can only imagine where the Nats would currently reside with Phillips manning 2nd.

    Note: I still believe the Mets have a deeper lineup than the Nats. Murph and Ramos will eventually recede (right!?!?!). Espinosa has simply played out of his mind recently and is not a very good bat. Harper, admittedly, is due for a prolonged outburst. Werth, Zimmerman and Rendon are basically where they should be (below average hitters for their respective positions). Revere should improve, with plenty of singles. Overall, though, their lineup really shouldn’t be very deep. If Murph, Ramos and Espinosa cool off, I don’t view their lineup as particularly dangerous.

    Conversely, the Mets seem poised to explode offensively. Reyes is a great spark/addition. Grandy looks great in the 2-hole. Yo is Yo. I like Loney in the 4-hole (contact protects Yo). Duda will eventually return. Walker is a feared bat and has cut back on his early-season SO rate. Conforto will return (imagine if he resembles April form?). Cabrera adds depth. TDA is huge presence toward bottom of the order. Legitimate threats 1-8.

    • Seth

      You absolutely can blame the Mets. Murphy was their most consistent hitter year after year. And if you didn’t hear that, you should have heard what he was trying to tell us about his hitting ability in the playoffs. It just came down to money, which is a shame. The Nats may not have realized what they had in Murphy, but the Mets should have. This is NOT hindsight, sorry.

      • Rob E.

        Totally disagree. What they had was a guy who averaged .294 with 13 HRs and some defensive and overall brain farts. Granted, that is still a useful player, but you can’t pay a guy who’s played for eight years because of a 14-game sample. The Nats bought a scratch-off lottery ticket for $35 million and it came up spades. If you want to argue that the .294/13 HR guy was worth $35 million, OK, that’s a compelling argument and you can make a case either way. But to be fair, NOBODY saw the half year he’s had coming. Not the Mets, not the Nats, not one single baseball analyst….NOBODY. It SUCKS that this has happened to us, but what Murphy has done so far defies all analytical logic. And it reminds us that this is a game played by humans, not robots. You can’t hang the Mets for that.

        • Matt in Woodside

          Did he even average .294? I thought he regularly averaged .280 season after season after season. That’s great, but not outstanding, and he usually put that average together through hot streaks and prolonged slumps hitting a bunch of doubles and 12-15 homeruns per year.

          As you said, no one saw this coming. And I, for one, am convinced that if the Mets had signed him to a 3 or 4 year deal, he would have been a .280 hitter with 12-15 HR per year. Maybe he’s got a chip on his shoulder. Maybe he likes the revenge narrative. Maybe he’s reinvigorated after a change of scenery. Maybe there’s Irish kryptonite in Willets Point, and the light of our planet’s star in DC enables him to become Daniel Murphy. Who knows? I just can’t believe he would’ve turned into a .350 first half hitter here.

  • Lenny65

    I assume Murph is doing so well after all that rest he had during the World Series when he mysteriously turned back into “our” Daniel Murphy, the one we knew all too well and included in every single trade scenario for what seemed like a hundred seasons.

  • Joe C

    OK, it certainly wasn’t predictable that Murph would have this kind of year. Nor that he’d get picked up by our most important divisional rival.

    But what WAS predictable was the fact that David Wright would likely miss substantial time due to his back. What WAS predictable was the fact that Duda would probably miss time true to streakiness and/or his inevitable injuries. It was also clear that Dilson was not quite ready for the show. Given all that, we opted not to sign someone we knew was a .280-.300 hitter, could play each of these positions (albeit with varying aptitude), and who most definitely would have taken a hometown discount. Can’t imagine 3/30 would not have done the trick. Those are the tangibles.

    As for the intangibles, he was a homegrown fan favorite who loved playing for the Mets and had a great chemistry with the team.

    Just shaking my head…

    • Dennis

      While it would have been nice to have Murphy back, you don’t know if we would have gotten a player like Walker back in return for Niese who, if you remember, everyone wanted out of here. And there is no evidence he would have definitively taken a hometown discount. Also disagree about Wright and Duda injuries being predictable. There certainly was always that possibility…..but in hindsight that is easy to say.

      • Joe C

        Well, if we’d have kept Murph, we clearly wouldn’t have needed to trade for Walker to begin with. (even before this season, Walker and Murph had very similar stats, the former a tad better defensively and the latter a tad better offensively). As starting 2B, Murph would have been able to spot both 3B and 1B. And disagree that Wright’s health issues were not predictable. Sandy’s stated goal of ~130 starts for DW was much derided as wildly optimistic…much of what I read indicated ~100 games as a more realistic goal.

        As for the hometown discount, Murphy said in no uncertain terms he badly wanted to stay. I’m convinced we could have gotten him for undermarket value. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that too.

        Ah, well. It’s all academic now. Here’s to hoping Murphy has some regression to the historic mean in the second half…

        • Dennis

          All good points Joe….as you said, all academic now. As far as Murphy regressing to the mean……looks like it will have to be against everyone else considering the way he has hit all season against us!

      • emi

        Daniel would be playing 3rd base now that David is out. What was Sandy’s plan. To every fan that said he was a bum and should be traded, how would we get to the World Series with out his homers, and who would look great hitting in front of Yoenis, and getting a run in from third with less than two out. The guy the Mets are looking for. Daniel. nough said!

        • Dennis

          I don’t recall fans saying he was a bum and should traded…especially on this site. There may have been differing opinions on whether he should be re-signed it not, but I don’t remember that kind of vitriol toward him.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Rob E & Matt in Woodside crushing it. Couldn’t say it better myself so I won’t even try.

  • Eric

    “it’s hard not to weight his nine mammoth performances a little heavier than his five less glittering ones”

    To begin with, if no 9, then no 5.

  • Mike D.

    Daniel Murphy was a “great Met?” Come on. He was a “sometimes very good Met” at best but let’s not lose all perspective because we just lost a series to the Nationals. Tom Seaver was a “great Met.” Mike Piazza was a great Met. He’s not even as great a Met as Edgardo Alfonzo or John Olerud or Carlos Beltran or Carlos Delgado were. And none of those guys made me want to tear my hair out the way Murph often did between his arrival and September, 2015. No one saw this coming — not even the Nats. He was their third choice, remember?

    • emi

      I will try as the Nats go to the playoffs and we sit home remembering last year.

      • Dennis

        To early to start remembering about last year. Half a season to go and as it stands right now we are in the wild card game. You gotta have more faith than give up the season at the All Star break.

    • Eric

      The Red Sox didn’t see the Curse of the Bambino coming, either. Karma: let go the veteran homegrown Met who just carried the team to the World Series, he joins your division rival, and Curse of the Murph.

  • open the gates

    Let’s look at the bright side, if we can:

    1) Taken by itself, the Walker trade has been pretty darn good. Neil is having a better season than anyone thought he would, and he and Cabrera are clicking in the field. And Jon Niese is having a horrific season for Pittsburgh. So yay us.

    2) Walker, in turn, is really keeping the seat warm for Dilson Herrera, who was the Mets Plan A all along. Dilson isn’t having a great season in Vegas, but pretty much everyone feels that he will be up sooner than later. And the annals of the Mets are filled with good players who hit a wall in the minors at one point, then came back to bury their detractors. Remember how Noah Syndergaard had that awful year in AAA, and “everyone” said that he didn’t have the makeup of a major leaguer? Maybe in the end, Dilson gives us more years and a better career than Murphy would have, going forward. But we won’t know that for a few years yet. Meanwhile, Walker is doing a fine job holding the kid’s place while he figures things out.

    3) What I said about Walker and Cabrera in the field? My guess – Murphy and Cabrera in the field would not be nearly as copacetic.

    4) If the choice had to be Murphy or Cespedes, they may have made the wrong choice, but not by much. Cespedes is an All-Star. You don’t get there by being a “wrong choice”.

    All things considered, this is pretty painful. No question. But one guy who was mentioned as another former Met who haunted his old team is actually a good case in point. By any measure, the Mike Scott for Danny Heep trade was awful for the Mets in hindsight. But Heep was not a bad player. And the Mets won the Series with Heep, not with Scott. A team is more than any one player. Something to keep in mind.

  • Mikey

    I don’t really blame the Mets for letting Murph go. He was always a decent hitter as evidenced by the numbers above, but his fielding and baserunning blunders were so bad that he left us constantly cringing. That said, I would have been okay keeping him. but what bothered me most is when I saw he had signed with WASH….like “oh shit, he signed with our top rival specifically to destroy us”…and well, of course he is…still, when he was hitting .400 at the end of May for the effing Nats, I was and still am banging my head against the wall wishing he had gone to the American League.

  • Will in Central NJ

    I must’ve been one of the most conflicted Daniel Murphy fans among Met fans that I know. I’ll cheer him in 2040 when the 2015 NL Champions are feted at Citi Field for the 25th anniversary year. But God, following Murphy’s exploits are exhausting.

    When I was growing up, I lived in a town with lots of boys who were my age or close to it. We played 3 to 5 sandlot baseball or softball games a week, once school let out. If I were to commit some of the throwing/fielding/baserunning errors on the sandlot that Murph did as a Major League professional, I’d have to endure a barrage of verbal abuse questioning my IQ or worse, grab my banana-seat bike and race outta there before my teammates would pummel me for the latest goof-up. That’s how elementary some the Murphy mental errors were, up until say, only last July.

    But then, I was a 13-year old kid on the sandlot…Murph was/is a Major Leaguer and getting paid handsomely to boot. The differential between his batting skills and other areas of his game were astoundingly large. I would raise this peculiarity to fellow NYM fans at work, and some arguments would reach such impassioned heights that we’d have to just walk away from each other.

    It was hard, really challenging, to root for Murphy while he was here. Now, it seems that with his hitting prowess against the Mets in Nationals red, he’ll continue to be occupy that same frontal lobe of our brains….the lobe that processes deep frustration and unrequited longing.

  • eric1973

    Well, see you next year, as we put away the bats and the balls and await Spring Training 2017.

    Now that I got that out of my system, the reality is that we still have a very good team and are still in it to win it. No reason to throw in the towel, but we may be back to ‘reasonably concerned,’ due to the 6-game deficit. We assume it has to shrink, don’t we?

    Many good hitters dot the lineup, and TC holds the clubhouse together, which is extremely important. Matz had a good start, and if Noah really is ok, then we still have more pitching than most. And the good guys in the bullpen are still very good.

    Ya Gotta Believe!

    LGM!

  • Greg Mitchell

    As I noted earlier–while no one predicted Murphy would be hitting .350 at this point it is wrong to say “no one” predicted power surge. To name one person: yours truly. I predicted it fully, reminding people that his playoff surge was probably NOT a total fluke as most claimed. He had changed his batting approach late in summer and had a power surge BEFORE those fabled playoffs. Check out his numbers from late August through Sept. which show big HR and extra bump and slugging pct. about .550. So he did that for 40 games plus all of playoffs so not a tiny sample. And everyone had remarked on his new “pull” approach yielding pop. The Nats’ $37 million for 3 years a bargain even without the .35o average.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Daniel Murpjy has been around since 2008. This isn’t some young guy who just needed time to find his footing. This is an established pro with a career high of 14 hr and an average of 9 hr per year. If you genuinely predicted he would hit 17 by the AS break then kudos, but that would be a wild prediction. What Murphy has done is almost unprecedented except for guys that juiced. To have this dramatic a change in power virtually overnight.

    But I go back to, it doesn’t matter. I am happy with our double play combo. I am happy with the depth we have at infield. It is painful when Murph kills us like he did this past weekend, but we will have our day too. And I still just don’t believe that he is suddenly Ted Williams. He’ll cool off at some point.

  • eric1973

    Tell the Captain to just rub some dirt on it. LOL!