Disclaimer: I’m not talking statistically, but the story is the same.
Erudite baseball fans know Wally Pipp as the possessor of the most famous headache in baseball history. In his own words, “the most expensive asprins in history.” On June 2, 1925, Pipp told Yankee manager Miller Huggins he needed to sit that day out…
…Rookie Lou Gehrig took his place, Pipp lost the job he had held since 1915 and at season’s end was shunted off to Cincinnati.
Now think, how is Daniel Murphy’s story similar to this one?
When Carlos Delgado got injured early last season, the Mets were frantic about finding a first baseman as a short term substitute (as we all thought Delgado was coming back). The Mets tried Tatis, Evans and even Jeremy Reed. Eventually the Mets settled on former left fielder Daniel Murphy.
Murphy was a pretty good defensive first baseman. He was tied for the NL lead in most double plays started by first basemen at one point. And of course he is also known for his Top-10 play when he flipped the ball behind his back to the pitcher to get the runner out at first.
Now, Daniel Murphy’s story has led us to the present day. The question the Mets have been faced with is if Daniel Murphy is going to be the Mets starting first baseman in 2010. He certainly would do fine defensively, but Murphy doesn’t quite fit the first baseman stereotype offensively. First basemen are typically your power hitter types, and obviously Daniel Murphy is not that. The buzz now is that the Mets may have Murphy splitting time with another first baseman next season, and that they will look to add a righthanded hitting platoon partner.
What do you all think, Mets fans? Is Daniel Murphy the new Lou Gehrig? Is Carlos Delgado the new Wally Pipp?