Murphy Didn’t Leave; He Was Pushed Away

Regardless of what happens this week, you should cheer Washington’s Daniel Murphy every chance you get, just the way he was honored tonight. Make no mistake, although the Mets honored Murphy before the game with this video tribute, he is Washington’s now because he was pushed away. (NOTE:  You must scroll down to load the video).

MURPHY: Gets cheered in return. (Getty)

MURPHY: Gets cheered in return. (Getty)

The Mets made Murphy a $15.8-million qualifying offer which he crushed much like all those home runs during last year’s playoffs. Murphy was a lifelong Met and wanted to stay here, but the Mets made it clear they didn’t want him. That’s why he’ll be coming out of the third base dugout.

A qualifying offer is much like getting a sympathy kiss on a date. Hell, if your heart isn’t in it, then why bother? The Mets extended that offer just to cover all their bases.

While their open flirtation with Ben Zobrist after the playoffs was obvious they wanted to move on, the Mets also made clear their intentions when they shopped him the previous winter. They also made it clear they preferred another when they squawked about his defense in left field and when he first started playing second, and that he didn’t have the power to play first.

The Mets stuck with Murphy simply because they didn’t want to spend the money in the free-agent market. Not insignificantly, money might have played a part in the Mets letting him walk away because it enabled them to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes. But, it is an oversimplification to say it was Murphy or Cespedes because the latter was close to signing with the Nationals.

Frankly, the Mets were lucky they were able to trade for Neil Walker. They were further lucky in that it only cost Jon Niese.

Murphy wasn’t great on defense – especially in the outfield – but worked hard and made himself into a decent second baseman. Yes, he had his lapses in the field and on the bases, although his first-to-third sprint in the playoffs was as heads-up a play the Mets have had in years. And, yes, he’s not a power hitter in the classical sense.

However, I liked watching him play because he always hustled and played hard. I liked watching him because unlike a lot of players who passed through Flushing, he loved being a Met and he wanted to be here.

Murphy was unfairly criticized in the press for how he played and even his political views, but he loved playing for you folks.

If nothing else, no matter if he rakes or not this week, he deserves your cheers and appreciation. The crowd got it right tonight.


22 thoughts on “Murphy Didn’t Leave; He Was Pushed Away

  1. It also was sad when the Mets traded Seaver and Ryan but Murphy is not that caliber. Murphy has always been a descent hitter but his fielding has been mediocre. Move on, Neil Walker has been doing a fine job. By the way didnt we get a comp pick for him. Move on.

  2. Yes, Sandy doesn’t like him. Not because his defense wasn’t good enough or that he would have the occasional brain fart on the bases, but because he didn’t hit enough home runs.

    Yes we pushed him away. We replaced him with a rental in walker who has played well. The real reason we don’t want him is we have cheap middle infielders in AAA and AA ready to take his place.

  3. I have been saying it for 2-3 years now, but Murph has more long term potential than the face of the franchise, (FotF). Murph will never match the face of the franchise in terms power, but if he does manage to reach 18-20 hrs, keep the 40 doubles, 15 steals and 80+ rbi’s his value and contribution will be far greater than those of the face of the franchise who is one dive away from going on the DL.

    FotF had a great run but can anyone expect him to reach 20/80 again? When FotF does go on the shelf due to the back condition, is the replacement going to be ty kelly from AAA? Or will dilson have to take over at 2b and neil shift to 3b? that seems like the only solution. i doubt matt reynolds get much of a shot at full time at 3b.

    ****** Murph in this lineup (at 3b) would have been impressive… that would have made 3 very solid consistent hitters, (MC, Cespedes, DM), plus three who get hot for stretches (CG,LD, NW) and then ss/c – where any offense is a bonus.

    • Murphy won’t hit 20 Hr
      , 10-15 is more like it

      My issue with him is defense. When he took to second he made progress, then he seemed to stop trying. By that I mean he regressed. Dan is a very solid hitter and is relatively injury free. David was a good player, but having to warm up for half a day to step on the field says it all.

      From this point forward Dan will outplay David for the simple fact that he shows up. And yes he can play third.

      But this team is built on pitching. Unfortunately the GM doesn’t understand that and will always get players with power rather than speed, defense and hitting. If we had a team built on speed , defense and putting the bat on the ball rather than over the wall we would be a much better team.

      • The issue is usually defense and the occasional baserunning blunder. His post season run could have earned him an additional year here. If that new found power source really was due to Long’s mantra on focusing on nailing a pitch in specific location then DM could be in for bigger and better #’s.
        I think SA is well aware of the importance of defense. They seemingly moved on from WF at short, even though there were no major blooper plays from him at short last year. Having said that, I am surprised about trying to make YC a CF’r when JL did so well out there, aside from last year’s injury marred season. I think they must have stuck with FotF due to the contract. Staying with FotF is easier from a PR perspective and many will find the sentimenal aspect appealing, versus saying, physically unable to perform, = outta here.

        • Yoenis is a terrible cf. just yesterday he chested a ball to stop it, not catch it with his glove. I don’t know in what world he earned a gold glove. He is a good hitter not so good fielder.

          Wilmer has no business being a major league shortstop let alone a minor league one. The fact he was anointed the starter last year without training camp and no signs he actually knows how to play says it all. Sandy made him the starter because he couldn’t get a better hitter at a cheap price. Please note the team moved him off short years ago in the minors because he sucked.

          • I fully agree. I am not saying he is a SS; considering they wrote him off as a SS in AA I assumed his only spots would be one of the corner IF spots. I repeated this while they tried making him a 2b 2 yrs ago after Wally said in the minors he is not a middle IF’r…. After the inside the park home run error in the WS, no one should consider YC a CF’r. most CF’rs are not bulky big muscular guys. BACK to DW vs. DM – it has to be all about the albatross contract…. i guess there is no escaping it and it ties the hands of the gm at this point. No way DW is going to start outperforming DM offensively this season or any future season. If he starts dong backflips between innings, he must have won the big time lottery….

      • Dave: You might recall when the Mets moved into Citi Field they said they’d build around pitching and defense first. Yet, their first big signing was Jason Bay. Wow, that’s a strikeout from the past. … Murphy was a part of those mediocre teams and the Mets were always trying to replace him, yet they never spent the money.-JD

  4. Dies anyone else realize murphy was statistically the worst 2b in baseball…guy is a .280 career hitter with 10-15 hr power…hes what you call AVERAGE. His defense, terrible baserunning and just plain dumb baseball i.q make him expendable… anyway Herrera is doing his thing in AAA and will make everyone forget soon enough.

    • Mike: I liked getting Walker, but doing so told me the Mets don’t have absolute confidence in Herrera. Maybe they will next year.-JD

  5. It’s no secret that the Mets didn’t wish to pursue Murphy on the market. But it’s wrong to suggest the qualifying offer was a “sympathy kiss.” Nearly $16 million on a one-year deal isn’t a handout to be scoffed at.

    They didn’t believe he would continue to blossom (as he has), and didn’t want to commit the funds to a player who essentially has no position, no matter how good some of you think he is at second base. He’s among the very worst defenders in baseball, by every statistical measure.

    Yet, still, do I wish he was here? Yes. In a perfect world, would David Wright have retired (his back will now haunt this team for the next several years) and then they extended Murphy to play third base exclusively? It didn’t happen.

    As for the fans, they did the right thing. The team did the right thing. And he was correctly cheered when the time called for it. But he’s a National now, and he’ll get booed, as he should. Especially when he comes back to haunt us (which is inevitable in this game). You don’t cheer for opposing players out of nostalgia, no matter what led to their departure.

    • They didn’t sign him because we have several decent middle infielders in AAA and AA. We also have a $20m long term contract at third and we seem committed to Luke.

      If Murphy was a 30 Hr guy they would have signed him.

      • Well, that and he’s usually terrible in the field. And yes, they have young middle infield options in the pipeline.

    • Mooney: Sympathy kiss was an exaggeration to make a point. It was simply a gesture to say, “we did make an offer.” … You do show appreciation to former players. I’ll always remember the ovations Mike Piazza got when he came back with San Diego.-JD

  6. For me, it just always seemed like Murph was seconds away from costing us a game. Armando Benitez at second base. Just never quite trusted his skill set in the field. Although to be fair I should admit I didn’t see his 400 average this year either. Thought he’d regress to a 260 hitter.

    • Ken: For several years the Mets expressed upgrading over Murphy. That’s their right. Maybe a change of scenery will be the best thing for him.-JD

  7. Uhhhh…it wasn’t luck that the Mets traded for Neil Walker. It was a smart strategic trade by an astute GM. And, thus far, Walker continues to be a better alll-around player than Murphy, with no long-term commitment. You wanna keep the young pitchers around long-term? Then you can’t lock up Murphy. At season’s end he’ll be at around .310, 12hr, 75 rbi. Comparable to Walker, but with awful defense. And the Mets will win the division.

    • Jeremy B: The Walker trade was a good one because they not only got a replacment but were able to get rid of Niese. Hope you’re right about winning the division.-JD

  8. He deserved the video and the ovation. He is a good, possibly becoming great, hitter. Not a great player. Before his HR tear no Met fan cared if he would be brought back. His postseason got us a draft pick..he wouldn’t have received the qualifying offer otherwise. Herrera (unless traded for a valuable piece) deserves a shot next year, and Walker is a great pickup for this season. Yes Herrera means going cheap at 2B. That’s what developing prospects is. Starting pitchers salaries are going up each year. It all balances out.

    If the Cardinals can let Pujols walk, we can let Murphy walk. It sucks that he ended up with our hated rival, but so be it.

    • Rick: I didn’t have a problem with the Mets letting Murphy go. I was pointing out they really didn’t want him, which was shown in the qualifying offer Murphy had no option but to reject.-JD