MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.
Daniel Murphy had one of those games last night, and because of it, the Mets lost another game. It was the second time this season a Murphy fielding blunder directly cost the Mets.
If you’re Jerry Manuel, it’s tempting to sit Murphy tonight, “to clear his head,” as the manager would put it.
That would be a mistake.
The Mets made a sizable commitment to Murphy, and the timing of a benching could send the bad message of a lack of confidence. The bottom line is Murphy had considerable defensive holes in his game that will only close with playing time. The worst thing that could happen is for him to believe his manager lacks confidence in him.
So, what to do?
From the seventh inning on, unless Murphy is tearing it up at the plate, out he comes for defense. It stays that way until he substantially improved.
I’m not saying Murphy will cost the Mets the pennant, but look at it this way, he’s already cost them two games and each of the last two seasons they missed by only one.
And, after the season, he should go to Arizona to work on his defense, both in left field and first base.
The Mets finally did the right thing and announced they will preserve Dwight Gooden’s autograph and try to procure others from players in their history. How this got to be an issue was embarrassing to the Mets. When one of your great players autographs a wall in your new stadium, you go with the flow.
I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the lack of Mets memorabilia and appreciation for their history at Citi Field. There’s so much more they could have done to honor their tradition.
At Comerica Park there are exhibits by decade. Very well done. Honestly, I thought they’d have a Hall of Fame when they build the place. Right now the place honors Jackie Robinson more than the Mets and that’s not right.
The Rotunda is well done, but there should have been something similar for the Mets history.
Most teams honor their past. The Cardinals have statues outside Busch; there are photos of past players at Wrigley Field and in Cleveland; at Fenway, you just know that’s the home of the Red Sox.
Yes, I like Citi Field, but there’s more from a historical perspective that should be recognized.
What kind of ovation should Willie Randolph get from Mets fans tonight? If fairness is in the equation, he should be cheered. How the Mets stumbled down the stretch last year and out of the gate this season, it’s clear the players must assume the lion’s share of the responsibility.
It’s an old saying, but neither Willie nor Jerry Manuel can hit in the clutch, and neither pitches.
The Mets aren’t hitting with RISP. Their starters are erratic. Their defense has been poor. It’s hard to blame all that on the manager, regardless of who he is. This is a flawed team.
Gary Sheffield will get his first start tonight for the Mets in right field, which next to Fenway, might be the hardest right field in the majors to play because of all the angles.
He’s got to play sooner or later, but I don’t like the timing after Ryan Church’s first bad game of the season. Then again, Church isn’t a Jerry favorite and they aren’t going to sit Daniel Murphy.
The question is where does Sheffield stand with the Mets? If he gets three hits tonight, he has to play tomorrow. Is he a starter or role player, and if the latter, can he handle that? He’s said all the right things, but it’s April.
There’s a lot to like with the new park, but not so much with how the boys are playing. They aren’t hitting with runners in scoring position; the bullpen has been erratic; and the Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez have been a disappointment.
You can say with a hit here or there, or a fly ball caught, or a well-pitched game, they could be 6-1. You could also say they could be 1-6. They are 3-4, which is about right, and totally wrong considering the talent there is on this club.
What’s been your biggest disappointment in the Mets’ start?