Monday, September 14, 2009

Great White Hope

"Lets get to the root of this: What's the Mets' fan love affair with Daniel Murphy?"

-Mike Francesa, 09/14

I didn't want to bother making another baseball post now that pigskin season is mercifully underway, but a call from Carol from Bayside making comments like "I don't understand why you're giving Daniel Murphy such a hard time, he's such a nice player!", "at least he speaks English" and "I'd rather have Murphy than Carlos Beltran, wouldn't you, Mike?"The fact the producer let a baseball call onto a football Monday show is a separate issue, but the bigger problem is the fanbase's perception of the team and its general manager, Omar Minaya. Callers like Carol are the same people who cling to the 'Los Mets' moniker Anna Benson gave the team after her husband was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for relief pitcher Jorge Julio and a throw-in starting pitcher Caucasian John Maine -guess she forgot that part. They're the same people who want Carlos Beltran out of town because of one at-bat defining his Met tenure even though he's infinitely more 'clutch' than fan favorite David Wright. They complain about the constant acquisition of Hispanic players as well as the language barrier in the clubhouse and media. They want GAMERSSSS, and GRINDERSSSS, like those on the mostly English-speaking Philadelphia Phillies, and perceive the play of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran as 'soft' -Robinson Cano gets this treatment as well from many Yankee fans.

So when Daniel Murphy was called up in August and lit the world on fire, spraying doubles from left to right, fans found a new white player to rally around. Omar Minaya, supposed Latino-orchestrator, pinned a major portion of the success of the 2009 season on the development of Murphy, opting not to sign corner outfielders Raul Ibanez and Bobby Abreu -Spanish-speaking players enjoying great campaigns this year. Just four games after Murphy went deep in Great American Smallpark in Cincinnati, he botched a fly ball in sunny LandShark Stadium and continued to play left field -and bat- on rollerskates, showing no range, athletic ability, power or plate discipline. Carlos Delgado's hip injury gave Murphy the opportunity to minimize embarrassing himself on the field by playing a representative first base, but hitting like a catcher, posting a .717 OPS. After 580 professional at-bats, it's looking like Murphy's ceiling will be a career in pinch hitting. Yet the calls to "lay off him" persist on the talk radio air waves.

What's lost in the arguments from 'Los Mets' fans are all the crappy Caucasians Minaya's signed, traded and drafted, including Brian Schneider, Tim Redding, Sean Green, Jeremy Reed and a litany of mediocre college players including a boat load of relievers who have done squat. It's too bad so many people are so shortsighted, because Minaya DOES deserve to be relieved of his duties, but not because of any Latino conspiracy.


coachie said...

here here. but who is gonna play first this year? for whatever reason I have hope that Nick Evans can develop into a contributor.

Fred Coupon said...

Nick Evans is another anonymous white guy Minaya drafted that has a bench ceiling.