It’s Funny How Things Work Out
This was actually submitted this morning, and was scheduled in our queue for tonight, hence the title. JD
I for one have seen enough of Daniel Murphy in left field. A person can cringe only so much before it leaves permanent unflattering lines across their forehead. In fairness to the kid, asking him to learn a position on the major league level is as unfair as your mother-in-law extending her visit.
Moreover, he is liable to get hurt bad if he continues down his current circuitous route to the ball. How long before he takes one off the noggin? He has missed balls by time zones, not inches.
It’s time to pull the plug on this mad experiment (he could also use a tutorial on base running). I haven’t seen a left-fielder look as lost since Todd Hundley packed away the tools of ignorance and moved out to un-greener pastures.
Let’s not pin all of the Mets defensive woes on the struggling Murph (he was once the pinch-hitter, now getting pinch-hit for); most of these players excluding a few, cannot catch the baseball. In fact, with the exception of a couple of Johan Santana 1-0 gems, how many crisp games have the Mets played this year? Most of their wins have come by out-slugging the opposition, not by out-picking them.
When hitters slump they take extra BP. When fielders slump they take countless ground balls. What have the Mets done to improve the abhorrent base running? More often than not they run station to station, rarely drawing throws, or dash around like out of control Little Leaguer’s. There’s no middle ground.
I’ve seen more economic movement during the “Senior Stroll,” then when the Mets tour the bases.
Teams that win get solid starting pitching, have a dominant closer (like Frankie Rodriquez), get timely hitting (Mets are lukewarm in that dept.) and CATCH the baseball (needless to say, the infield of Olerud-Alfonzo-Ordonez-Ventura, is secure in Mets lore).
It might be time for Omar Minaya to dust off the credit card and either acquire a first base replacement for Carlos Delgado or a big-time left-fielder (Matt Holliday) and send Murph down to learn a position he can embrace. Preferably Minaya acquires a player who takes as much pride in his defense as offense.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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