Our pal MetsDaddy sent me this post as he was lamenting the current Murph situation. You know, the one that’s been dominating NY sports talk radio since April? Yeah, that one.
In 2010, Sandy Alderson became the Mets General Manager. Other than David Wright at third base, Sandy has had a lot of turnover at each position in the field, including second base. Since his tenure began, here are the players that have played second base for the Sandy Alderson regime:
- Brad Emaus
- Chin-lung Hu
- Justin Turner
- Ruben Tejada
- Willie Harris
- Scott Hairston
- Jordany Valdespin
- Ronny Cedeno
- Omar Quintanilla
- Eric Young
- Wilmer Flores
- Juan Uribe
- Kelly Johnson
- Dilson Herrera
- Daniel Muno
- Eric Campbell
- Matt Reynolds
- Ty Kelly
- Neil Walker
- Daniel Murphy
Murphy was last on the list as Murphy is the guy that Alderson never wanted. He was the player Alderson tried to trade from time to time. He’s the player Alderson did not negotiate with during the 2015 season despite Murphy wanting to work out an extension with the team. He was the player Alderson didn’t make a contract offer to return to the team. Instead, Alderson actively sought to sign Ben Zobrist, before being turned down with the Cubs, and then made a trade for Neil Walker.
This year, Murphy is hitting .348/.387/.598 with 17 homers and 66 RBI. He leads the majors in batting average, hits, and total bases. Against the Mets, Murphy is hitting .423/.446/.885 with seven homers and 21 RBI.
Coincidentally, the Nationals lead the Mets by six games in the division. Maybe Murphy could have something to do with that.
Our man Murphy is back in the All Star game and Murph supporters far and wide are feeling the pride.
Being the humble guy that he is, Murph will come off the bench tonight but just because he isn’t starting doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate this in true Oh Murph fashion.
I hit the studio earlier with Uncle Sol and he kept playing Drake’s “Pop Style” in the Panamera on the way over. I used the beat when I wrote my freestyle and this is what I came up with.
October’s done but I still hit
This sounds like some heavy 202 sh*t
In the capital they call it “Murph Style”
Not a hot streak, it’s a lifestyle
Tell the fans in Queens “I love them, but I gotta beat um”
Not the way I thought I’d have to treat um
I like to finish what you think you started
You know that qualifying offer was just garbage
You don’t know what you just started
Now all I do is hang with Gio and the Harpers
You’ve been on my mind Gary
Thought you “had my number”
Well you need to call me
I’ll help you define “net negativity”
They’re still out to get me because they never got me
They’re still out to get me I don’t get it
Guess I’ll just keep hitting that’s a given
When it’s BA I’m number one
Where’s my replacement? 21?
They’ve been out here trying to slide on me
They’ve been out here telling lies on me
SNY is “looking out for themselves”
But they’ve still got their eyes on me?
See putting in the hard work now
Stay in the cage til the thing broke down
Power hitter for real there’s no doubt
Contracts hit the gym they all work out
Halfway through ’16
NL East looking like a breeze
Most of you aren’t in my league
Mets showed me nothing’s guaranteed
October’s done but I still hit
This sounds like some heavy 202 sh*t
In the capital they call it “Murph Style”
Not a hot streak, it’s a lifestyle
5-21-2016, Terry Collins post game press conference: Reporter: What’s the mood in the clubhouse these days? Terry: “Well, Murph’s not here, and a few other guys, but its good…”
6-12-2016, Dick Scott is managing the Mets today as Terry Colins has been taken to a hospital after reports of him not feeling well. Terry apparently took a shower first and walked out under his own power. Terry will remain in the hospital over night for observation.
6-13-2016 Terry Collins was released from a hospital in Milwaukee and will fly back to New York today. Collins was declared fit as all tests were negative.
6-14-2016 Terry Collins held his usual pre game press conference and reported feeling “disoriented” before Sunday’s game. All tests were negative, the illness was attributed to a possible bout of dehydration.
The Oh Murph investigative team was called in to get the story behind the story. Hear now the results of what really happened before that Sunday game.
Dick Scott walks into the visiting manager’s office at Miller Park. Terry Collins sits with his four color Bic pen in hand and a partially filled in line up card on the desk, staring blankly at the wall.
“Dick come in, listen, we gotta change it up here a little, too many injuries. Guys are playing flat, need a little shake up.”
“Yeah Terry, just came in to tell you Walker can’t go, we’ll need to start Johnson”
“I tell ya what then Dick, I’ll move Flores to second today, we’ll put Johnson in left because of Scooter’s wrist, and we’ll slide Murph in at third and of course, bat him third.”
“Hahahaha Terry, good one, don’t I wish we could do that. But Murph’s not here, so how about Johnson at third and we’ll have to go de Aza in left.”
“Whattaya mean Murph’s not here? Number 28, saw him walking around with his firstbase mitt before, don’t tell me Murph’s not here”
“Terry, Uh, Murph’s a National…”
“That’s right, Murph’s a National treasure, that’s for sure. Where would we be without him? Certainly not five games ahead sittin’ pretty in first place. He’s leading the league in hitting, and him and Céspedes are carrying this team to a return to the playoffs. So glad we can move him around the infield, he never complains, love that kid”
(Scott pulls his cell phone out, sending a 911 text to Ray Ramirez. Ramirez shows up at the manager’s door)
“Hey Dick, thanks, gotta go, Ray’s here to give me the injury update, then I gotta jump in the shower with the boys. I get such a kick outta snappin’ my towel at Bartolo. Hey, great win today, how about that Murph?”
Here at Oh Murph, we’re all about family values. If you like Murph, Twitter and the Mets I’m sure you’ve heard the legend of @MetsDaddy2013. A tried and true Murph supporter and father figure to all of “Mets Twitter”. We were shooting the breeze a few weeks back a conversation became a post. I found myself telling BS Upton the same thing I tell the women in my life: “It isn’t mine”.
So I’d like to welcome MetsDaddy to Oh Murph, I think he’ll fit in great around here. Without further adieu, Oh Murph presents: Daddy Issues
After the infamous tie game in Milwaukee, MLB determined that from that point forward the league that won the All Star Game would have homefield advantage in the World Series.
Last year, the American League won meaning the Mets had to travel to Kansas City to start the World Series. Maybe, just maybe, the outcome of the World Series would’ve been different if the Mets had homefield advantage. If that’s the case, when Mets fans vote for the All Star Game starters, they need to vote for Daniel Murphy to be the National League starter at second base.
As we saw last October, sorry Murphtober, Murphy is at his best when the games are at their most important. In a do-or-die Game Five of the NLDS, Murphy was terrific. He was responsible for all three Mets runs. In the first, he knocked in Curtis Granderson. Later in the game, he went first to third on a walk and later score the tying run. Finally, he homered off Zack Greinke to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
It was amongst the greatest, if not the greatest, game by a position player in a winner take all game. Isn’t that what the All Star Game is? A winner take all game? If that’s the case, all Mets fans need to vote for the extremely clutch Murphy to start the All Star Game to help the Mets get homefield advantage in the World Seies.
Aside from his abilities in the clutch, he should win the fan vote because he’s been the best second baseman in the National League. He leads all NL second basemen in batting average, OBP, OPS, OPS+, doubles, fielding percentage, and NLCS MVP awards.Neil Walker deserves to make the All Star team for doing his best impersonation of Murphy in the postseason this year. However, if you’re choosing to vote between Murphy and Walker, go with the original. Go with the guy who hits better in clutch situations. Go with the guy who gives the Mets the best chance to have homefield advantage in the World Series.
Vote for Daniel Murphy.
Some things just can’t be explained.
Chances are if you’re reading this you have a love of all things Murph. But for some, there is one thing that maybe makes you a little uncomfortable, maybe even cringe slightly.
Murph is very spiritual. His faith and beliefs have been demonstrated by him on many occasions. He lets us know that regularly. We kinda smile, nod, and then listen to see if he’ll really tell us how he hit that sinker from Arrieta that was six inches off the ground over the right field wall. But he doesn’t tell us. He nicely tells us how his teammates enabled him to succeed.
So today Murph just finished 2 games against KC where he had 7 hits of all types and is now hitting .398 with a .449 OBP one week into May. He just recorded his 1,000th hit in his MLB career, and it seems he’s in a rush to get to 2,000. Ever humble, Murph said that was 1,000 hits more than he expected he’d get. Murph’s always been a good hitter, but more of the .285 variety with a bunch of 2 week hot streaks mixed in. Nothing like this though, pretty much ever.
Is this faith rewarded?
Think about it. The game has been hard on Murph, it certainly didn’t come easy. Bad teams, injuries, the demons of the game constantly rearing their ugly heads, but Murph kept the faith, kept believing, kept working.
So, is this his reward?
Or has Murph always been this good? A lot of good players, successful players come to New York and do terribly. Murph, .291 career hitter, above league average, seemingly unaffected by the New York stigma, or was he? Was he always this guy and will he keep it up?
Some questions are better answered by a higher authority.
Even though the season has just begun, it’s safe to say the Nationals are pleased with their decision to sign Murph.
With his instant offense, great attitude and perfectly moisturized skin the Nats are wondering why the Mets would ever let him go?
They’ve decided the best way to answer their question is to honor the newly minted Beltway hero with a day to recognize his greatness, work ethic and impending 1,000th hit.
That’s right, on “ph” day, as it’s referred to in all internal memos, all players will wear an honorary “ph” at the end of their names. Bakerph, Harperph, Werph, you get the picture. The special Scherphzerph jersey with the double ph (one for each eye color) will be a game time decision. Fans will receive a complimentary chapstick at the gate and are asked to be in their seats a half an hour early. Not for an on field ceremony honoring Murph but a hitting tutorial.
Anyone named Murphy will get half price admission to the game for obvious reasons. Also Anyone with a pH level greater than 7 will get 30% off. So if your in DC make sure to check your pH level to see if you qualify, bring your certified lab results to the will call window.
To promote this day Murph will be making a handful of appearances at DC landmarks. Murph was overheard saying that he loves taking in the history and all the culture DC has to offer. With the way he has been playing it won’t be long until there’s a Murph statue somewhere around town.
Personally I haven’t posted since the time when there was still a chance that Murph might return.
Frankly, we miss Murph. But what happened? How did we get here?
All baseball players have to leave us at some point, they become free agents or they just get too old to play the game anymore.
The way that Murph left was the hardest part to deal with. All the years of him being included in trade talks, never being considered for an extension by the front office, yet always among the top performers on the team.
The Mets last pitch to Murph was the Qualifying Offer. He didn’t swing at it, and after thinking there would be another pitch, the indicator said that was ball four and Murph, at least Mets Murph, had to take a walk, something we rarely saw.
Here’s a guy who did nothing but want to help the Mets. He was a third baseman in the minors and seeing his path was blocked there, asked to learn second base. Before he could get one lesson, the Mets needed his bat and he was stationed in Left Field, a place he hadn’t been before. Then first base, then second finally, learning all at the major league level for the most part. We got to see it in the raw, something you don’t always see in the major leagues. But it was because of the bat.
For me it was always the eyes, locked in on the pitcher, the head not moving through the swing. You can exasperate yourself trying to teach someone to hit a baseball. Whoever taught Murph, taught him well. And for whatever reason, as bad as the Mets were, I had to watch to see Murph hit.
In the middle of last year, after he came back from the Disabled List, you could tell there was something different. He was swinging harder from the core, driving the ball instead of trying to shoot it. Then the playoffs. I won’t recap here, but just say Murph’s NLDS and NLCS were probably the best I have ever seen in my life. Totally awe inspiring. At times it felt as if the rest of the team wasn’t there. The best thing the Royals did for themselves was to neutralize Murph. They didn’t mind walking him, they weren’t pitching to him under any circumstance. Unfortunately, no one picked him up.
So now, here we are. The Nats off to a hot start and no one hotter than Murph. If you truly appreciated Murph, you are not surprised. In just seven years a Met, he is at the top of the lists in many offensive categories, an all-time Met for sure, except no longer a Met.
I’ll confess I rarely watch baseball playoffs if the Mets aren’t in it. But if Murph is in it this year, I would watch.
Now we all have to move on, I hope I can. I am a Mets fan, but I will always follow Murph. My hope is that one day, when he is 38 he’ll return to the Mets just like Rusty Staub, who Murph shares a birthday with, and become their pinch hitter par excellence.
Then I can watch that swing again.
Today, the character of the Mets changed when it was all but confirmed Murph won’t be back in Flushing.
Here at Oh Murph, we’ve been preparing for this day for quite some time. We’re not surprised but we are sad.
Although we’re all self professed Murphaholics, we also considered ourselves educated and informed baseball fans. Our love for Murph is a love for the game. The way he plays is 100% heart. Get on him all you want but whenever he makes you gasp in the field it stems from going too hard, never from lack of trying.
So today as a Mets fan my sadness is not because “my guy” isn’t here anymore. It’s because the Mets lost a guy that plays the game the right way, puts team before self and always gives a complete effort.
My love for the Mets started long before I ever knew who Murph was and that won’t ever change. Wherever he lands, a share of my fandom lands as well. Not because I’ll be pulling for them, because I’ll be following Murph. I know he’ll do well wherever he lands and whether the fans appreciate it or not he they’ve gained a great ballplayer who will excite at a far greater level than he’ll disappoint.
Oh Murph isn’t going anywhere. We look forward to bringing you all the Murph info on his new home and contract, as well as many other firsts for Murph and for us as we embark on the next phase of this Murphtastic voyage.
We’ve done 404 posts and they’ve all been while Daniel Murphy was a member of the New York Mets. Today is a new day, thanks for reading post 405.
Oh Murph is known for bringing you the “story behind the story” and we like to keep company with those who do the same. MetsDaddy hit me up with the real deal on how Sandy’s negotiating tactics were fairing as the hot stove heats up. Check it out for yourself here and head on over to metsdaddy.com and see what you’ve been missing.
Secretary: Hello, this is Bobby Witt’s office. How may I direct your call?
Sandy: This is Sandy Alderson. I’m calling Mr. Witt about Ben Zobrist.
Secretary: Oh hello Mr Alderson. Mr. Witt has been awaiting your call please hold.
Witt: Sandy, what took you guys so long?
Sandy: Well, we were in the World Series. We thought Murphy may accept the qualifying offer. There were a lot of balls in the air.
Witt: Understood. So what’s the offer?
Witt: Yeah. Just so you know there’s a lot of interest in Ben. Originally, we were thinking four years, but now with all the teams interested, I’m not bringing anything to Ben unless there’s at least a fifth year player option.
Sandy: No, no, no, you misunderstand my call.
Witt: I’m sorry. I thought you were calling about Zobrist. Is this about Buddy? Hey, he got hurt, but he enjoyed his time there. I’m sure we can get something done quick. I’m just surprised because I know you guys need a second baseman.
Sandy: Oh, this is about Zobrist.
Witt: It is?
Sandy: Yeah. We’re just calling to let you guys know we’re interested.
Witt: Ok, great. I know Ben wants to play for a winner too. I think there’s a fit. What did you have in mind? Before you start, just don’t come at me with anything less than $15 million a year.
Sandy: You misunderstand me. We’re calling to say we’re interested. That’s it.
Witt: Is this a prank? [off speaker] Barbara, I don’t have time for this. Next time someone calls can you make sure it’s really it is who they say it is.
Barbara: [in background] Mr. Witt, the caller ID says Citi Field.
Witt: I’ll be damned it does! Sandy, what the hell is going on? Is this some sort of negotiating trick?
Sandy: No, no trick. I just gotta call you to say we’re interested. Then what happens is I can honestly have it leaked we called to say we’re interested. Oh, even better, we’re really interested. The media and fans will soak that up.
Witt: This is a waste of my time. I’m gonna hang up . . .
Witt: What is it now?
Sandy: You’re not playing this right.
Witt: What do you mean?
Sandy: I think you should leak this call to the press.
Witt: Why would I do your dirty work for you?
Sandy: Easy, you say you had a conversation with a New York team and you discussed 5 years at $15 million per. Now, there’s no way anyone will believe it’s us.
Witt: Right. They’ll all assume it’s then the Yankees. Then when Cashman calls to clarify, I can lock up a deal with him. We know they need a second baseman as badly as you do.
Sandy: Exactly, and no one blames me when the Yankees overpay him by that much. I can just tell everyone we expressed our interest, but we were not willing to sign Zobrist to those terms. It’s a win-win situation.
Witt: It just might work. How can I repay you? I’m sure I can get Carlyle to come back on a minor league deal for the minimum.
Sandy: Oh no, we can’t add that much payroll. We had to replace the grass, Fred wanted a different shade of green for next year. Just tell the press we’re really super duper interested. Tell them I asked pretty please with a cherry on top.
Witt: Ummm, ok. I’ll talk to you later Sandy.
Sandy: We’re not signing anyone, so I doubt it. Anyway good luck to you and Ben.
Witt: Thanks, bye.
Sandy, John, Murph, and Uncle Sol enter a small conference room off the GM’s office at CitiField.
Uncle Sol: A little cramped in here Sandy, how about putting on the lights so we can see what we’re doing?
Sandy: The “light” is on. Got a heck of a deal in 2010 on a case of CFL bulbs that the Giants threw in on the Angel Pagan deal. They are the equivalent of 40 watts, don’t worry your eyes will adjust.
Uncle Sol: OK, Sandy, if you say so. Guess that explains why Murph was looking a little green to me. That and his shivering had me worried.
Sandy: He’ll be fine. We keep the offices at a constant 58 degrees during the winter. John, get Murph one of my spare fleece vests from the closet. Sol, would you like one?
US: Sandy don’t worry about me, I don’t leave the condo this time of year without the mink.
S: OK, so lets get down to business. First I’ll re-cap our off season so far.
After much deliberation, we decided to offer Murph the Qualifying Offer, with great confidence that he wouldn’t accept. I’ve got to admit you had us going there for a while on Friday. We thought we needed our award winning retail department to kick it up a notch, but then you turned us down as we had hoped.
As you know we spent some cash re-signing Terry. He doesn’t need much money since he lives in the clubhouse in St. Lucie during the Winter. So that worked out.
We met with Zobrist and his people, not to sign him of course, but to gauge the second base market. Now we’re prepared to make you a legitimate offer, just as you read the other day on Metsdaddy.com.
US: Sandy, we are here to listen. Whatta ya got?
S: Here it is, I know we are asking for a slight home town discount, but we think this is very fair. 3 years, $8 million per. Sol, are you OK? What do you say?
US: Give me a second, I think I just swallowed the end of my Cohiba that I just bit off. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? No way we go for that.
S: Listen Sol, hear me out, this is a great deal. You know Murph cost us a lot of money in the post season this year.
US: Bubbala, when are you gonna get over that error? It’s not exactly like no one else made an error in the World series, and inside the park homer on the first pitch? Are you kidding me?
S: Sol, we have no problem with Murph’s play in the World Series. I’m talking about the money he cost us in the NLCS.
US: Wait, what? Murph was the MVP, he hit over .500. Homered in every game. Are you insane?
S: Yes, well his play cost us two additional home gates in that series. We weren’t looking for a sweep. So we adjusted our offer accordingly, taking about 4.5 million a year off the deal and taking off one year. Believe me this is very equitable considering all the variables present.
Uncle Sol passes out and falls to the floor.
S: Well Murph, your representative appears to not have eaten breakfast. What do you say?
Murph: I …….
TO BE CONTINUED