23.2.09

Without Auditions, Murph's the Everyday Left Fielder

One thing for certain, Jerry Manuel isn't waiting to see what's going to happen before reacting.



Whilst it's been pretty much common knowledge all winter that in the absence of Dream Team Left Fielder Manny Ramirez joining the club, left field was going to see a platoon of last season's surprising AA call-up Danny Murphy and last season's surprising out-of-nowhere return of Fernando Tatis.

I mean, barring any horrible implosion by one of them this wasn't simply pencilled in, this seemed to be carved in stone as a good idea.

Not any more.

Jerry dropped the bombshell that Murph is going to be the every day left fielder:

"I don't want him to get into a strictly platoon situation," Manuel said. "I think he's a little better player than that. Also, with Church being a lefthanded hitter, I kind of see Murphy being a better hitter right now at this time, so Tatis could go that way [in rightfield]. It all depends on how well they're doing. If they're not getting hits, they're not going to play.


And just like that, Murph is promoted to Danny Ballgame.

So it's Murph's job to lose, basically. And hmmm, maybe even Ryan Church's job over in right field, if he starts getting concussed all over again. (incidentally, there's a witty little ditty about Churcherella over here.

I'm not going to make any long-winded speeches on the wisdom of calling this out in public before the team's even played its first intrasquad game but Murph had all of 10 at-bats against lefties last season, his career totals so hopefully there was something very determinate and distinguishable in those 10 at-bats. We've all heard what a pure hitter Murph is and now we're going to find out how much of it is theory and how much of it is fact.



I think it's pretty much common consensus that Murph is a great natural hitter and an incredibly hard worker - maybe now he'll develop into a slightly lighter-hitting David Wright of the outfield, who knows.

So Jerry has made the decision early and whilst decisive, he's either going to look smart or people are going to view this as an unnecessary and premature decision that backfires.

In away its the second early shot across the bow from Jerry who is putting his indelible stamp on the club early and often. The other big news of the Spring so far was his effort to transplant a pair of balls on Jose Reyes by threatening him with hitting 3rd in the order instead of lead off. Well, two birds with one stone, actually, as simultaneously, this puts the onus on Luis Castillo to stop skating and start earning those millions he's stealing from the Mets worst than a ponzi scheme.

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Anyone else get goosebumps of anticipation reading this article about Bobby Parnell and his new split-fingered fastball?

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At least Joel Sherman has a clear head on what he thinks about Jerry, Jerry's tactics and potential replacements for both Jerry should it go tits up and Ryan Church if Church doesn't wow us from the start again

Jaysus, Joel. It's still bloody February and you're considering who the Mets will overpay to replace Church in right and who might be managing the Mets next Spring Training. Go find a paper bag to hyperventilate into or something.

For the record, I don't agree that Jerry needs to tell these muppets what's on his mind before he tests the air with the media. Reyes has not only been a choking dog the last two Septembers but it's time he owned up to being a man and not some bright eyed kid whose going to coast on a goofy, infectious smile and roadrunner speed the rest of his career. Maybe he needs a little shock. And yeah, maybe it back-fired when Willie played his hand too hard with Reyes but that was two seasons ago and Willie was an uncommunicative little phony hard ass who wouldn't even get out there and get tossed out of a game once in awhile. Besides, Reyes' sensibilities are hopefully not quite so soft-shelled any more. Perhaps he too will recognise it's time to get on with the business. Stop losing concentration and focus on the base paths and with the glove.

1 comment:

sanchez said...

Murphy starting in left field could be the start of something great this summer. Of course, he'll probably end up playing 2nd base once everyone realises Castillo is washed up and the Mets should eat his contract but I'd rather see a young, excited guy playing left field out there than some pouting malcontent like Ramirez giving half efforts and causing clubhouse chaos, even if he can carry a team's offense on his back.