Mets fans need to let Daniel Murphy go
By Darren Martino
A lot of Met fans still haven’t come to terms that Daniel Murphy isn’t a Met this season. He is a Washington National.
Murphy made a lasting impression with his superhuman performance during the playoffs, which has made his departure hard for many to swallow. The infatuation with Murphy has only been amplified by his hitting over .400 nearly halfway through May.
Fear not. Daniel Murphy will not bat .400 this year. Regardless, Mets fans should not be checking his stats every day and dreaming of what could have been. It’s easy to look back at someone and focus on the good times, ignoring the bad times. Looking up Daniel Murphy’s line for the night is like checking an ex’s Facebook after a breakup. Sure it may look like they’ve moved on to great new things at first glance. But if you wait long enough, you’ll see that down the line, they usually fall into the same bad habits that they did with you.
What I mean is, the law of averages dictates that Murphy will plateau at the plate, and probably sooner than later. We aren’t watching him all nine-innings anymore and stats don’t always tell the whole story. In the post-PED era, players do not simply start hitting .50+ (let alone 100+) points above their career average at age 31.
Perhaps Mets fans need to see Murphy play an entire game again to remember that a lot of what Murphy gives at the plate, he takes away in the field. While he has only committed 2 errors so far this season, it’s easy to lose sight that he lacks in range and ability to turn the double play on most nights. He does his team no favors on the bases as well.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mets did want Murphy back. The rub was that it had to be on their terms, which was going to be a one-year deal. It was Murphy’s decision to reject the Mets’ qualifying offer in hopes of procuring a longer deal. The reason why the Mets only wanted him back for a year, and subsequently traded for Neil Walker (on the last year of his contract) is that they believe they have their second basemen of the next several years in Las Vegas with the Triple-A squad.
The Mets are putting all of their eggs in Dilson Herrera’s basket. Herrera has seen and continues to see success at the Triple-A level. He is once again batting over .300 there so far this year. He was briefly given a shot at the major league level when Murphy and Wright went down with injuries in April 2015. It was perhaps a premature move, as he did not perform as hoped. He was sent back down in June, when Murphy returned. He is still the future of second base for the New York Mets, and Murphy is the past.
Mets fans need to take Daniel Murphy off the pedestal they’ve put him on, and quickly. He is the enemy starting Tuesday night when the Nationals come to Citi Field. Those in attendance will surely give him a standing ovation, and some may do so at home as well. After that, please do yourself a favor and stop pining for him.
After all, I don’t recall a ton of Murphy jerseys flying off the shelves at Modell’s the last seven years that he was here. Murphy is a good hitter, but he is not the second coming of Ted Williams. He was an all-star once, by default as the Mets were bad in 2014 and someone had to be chosen.
Please remember his lack of defense cost us Game 4 of the World Series and possibly the series itself. Remember him for his amazing performance in the Division and Championship series, but also remember that the home run total he amassed over those series was half of what he delivered in-season (14), which was a career high.
Look forward to the next couple of years when Murphy will be in his age 32 and 33 seasons while the Mets will have Herrera who just turned 22. Let’s also not overlook Neil Walker who has arguably had as good if not better career than Murphy, with exception of playoff baseball. Not to mention the fact that Walker is coming off one of the best opening months in team history as he smacked 9 home runs in April.
Just as we shouldn’t go looking up exes every time we get lonely, we too should not look up Murphy stats every time Neil Walker has a poor game or two. Murphy has always been a streaky player and he is overdue for a prolonged downturn. He is also due to have a game-altering miscue on the bases or in the field. Mark it down. The great news is that maybe it will all start in time for Tuesday night’s showdown in Queens.