Baseball Jeremiad

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A Curiously Intelligent Baseball blog

Janish: Murph’s Blood on Mets’ Hands

Though I find myself regularly reading Matt Cerrone’s Mets Blog to keep myself up to date on the day to day happenings of my beloved Mets, I look forward to reading Joe Janish’s thoughtful commentary at Mets Today.

This morning, Joe has a post up about the season-ending (and possible career ending) injury to Daniel Murphy’s knee.

Janish opines:

Last year on this blog, I wrote about the Dan Murphy Myth. As a result of my “negativity” (I called it “realism”), many people thought I “didn’t like” Dan Murphy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was merely being realistic about the kid’s skillset. To me, he was a so-so MLB hitter with no speed, below-average instincts, suspect strike zone judgment, slow feet in the field, and hard hands. I always felt his absolute ceiling was comparable to Mike Hargrove or Mark Grace, but more likely Matt Franco.

We may never know for sure whether Murphy had a chance to be Mark Grace, because his latest knee injury will have him out for the year — and potentially end his MLB career. The real shame, though, is that it didn’t have to happen this way.

Murphy’s original knee injury at the end of spring training was a freak accident; it could’ve happened to anyone. But his most recent MCL tear was avoidable.

Consistently, throughout Murphy’s rehab in extended spring training in Port St. Lucie, Mets management insisted that Murphy would only play first base. The reasoning was that the priority was his health. Once healthy, they might consider shuffling him around to be more versatile. This was the mantra while every baseball media outlet was suggesting that Murphy would soon become a “super utilityman”, and every commenting Mets fan was screaming for Murphy to replace Luis Castillo at 2B.

Read the rest here.

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Cleaning Up the Reader (Vol. 1)

The reader has over 1,000 entries.  With that in mind, call this volume one.  And on to the links…

Murray Chass weighed in on the recent immigration legislation in Arizona.

The Bats blog remembered Robin Roberts and the major role he played for the Phillies — after he retired.

I didn’t receive any newspapers while in Detroit and had no email access.  At the same time I was there, Ernie Halwell got called up to call the games in heaven.  The Bats blog gives Harwell’s HOF speech full text.  We here at BaseballJeremiad do too:

“Baseball is the president tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from the corner of his dugout. That’s baseball. And so is the big, fat guy with a bulbous nose running home one of his 714 home runs.

“There’s a man in Mobile who remembers that Honus Wagner hit a triple in Pittsburgh 46 years ago. That’s baseball. So is the scout reporting that a 16-year-old pitcher in Cheyenne is a coming Walter Johnson. Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.

 “In baseball democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rulebook. Color merely something to distinguish one team’s uniform from another.

“Baseball is a rookie, his experience no bigger than the lump in his throat as he begins fulfillment of his dream. It’s a veteran too, a tired old man of 35 hoping that those aching muscles can pull him through another sweltering August and September. Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.

“Baseball is the cool, clear eyes of Rogers Hornsby. The flashing spikes of Ty Cobb, an over-aged pixie named Rabbit Maranville.

“Baseball is just a game, as simple as a ball and bat, yet as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.

“Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World Series catch, and then dashing off to play stickball in the street with his teenage pals. That’s baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying, ‘I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.’

“Baseball is cigar smoke, hot roasted peanuts, The Sporting News, ladies day, ‘Down in front,’ ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game,’ and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’

“Baseball is a tongue-tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball! Thank you.”

From a week ago, but still a good question: Is D-Murph the next Super Joe?

Shoulder tightness always makes me nervous.

Phil Birnbaum at Sabermetric Research performed a study on game times that nearly made my head explode.

Sorry Red Sox fans, but questions about your Papi abound.

Time to catch my breathe.  More to come…

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