Murph Joins The Men Of Mount MetKillmore

murph rushmore

As we head into the All-Star Break, the Mets have dropped 2 out of the first 3 games at Citi Field to the Nationals. Now we look to Steven Matz to help us salvage a split of this home series. The Mets dropped last night’s game 6-1. They couldn’t muster any offense against Mad Eye Max Scherzer. They managed 4 hits total against the Nats and a sac fly. Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t in the lineup therefore we didn’t score. That’s the least surprising thing of all time. The Yo-less lineup aka the No-Yo Remnant isn’t really equipped to do a whole lot. Logan Verrett gave up 5 runs over 6.2 innings. That’s bad. Antonio Bastardo gave up a 2 run homer to Daniel Murphy. That’s worse.

This game was totally the Daniel Murphy show. Every single game against the Nats this year has been the Daniel Murphy show. He had an RBI single in the third inning, an RBI double in the fifth inning, and a two run homer in the seventh inning. The Mets planted a destructive seed within their own division by letting Murph go to Washington. Well the plant has grown, and it is royally screwing us. Murph the Met slayer is now an official face on Mount MetKillmore.

Daniel Murphy joins Chipper Jones, Chase Utley, and Pat Burrell as the most hated Mets killers from my lifetime. I’ll never forget feeling like we could compete with the Braves in the late 90s and early 2000s. Sometimes the Mets would tease me and make me think we actually had a chance to beat the Braves. And then Chipper Jones would launch one of his many homers at Shea Stadium and destroy my false hope. Pat Burrell put up 42 of his 292 career home runs against the Mets. It certainly felt like all of his career homers came against us. Chase Utley murdered the Mets for over a decade with Philly. He killed Ruben Tejada last year. He has truly cemented his face on Mount MetKillmore.

You might be wondering where Jimmy Rollins is on the mountain. Well Murph replaced him temporarily (Murph has a large amount of slaying to do to stay on the mountain forever). But Rollins doesn’t need to be on Mount MetKillmore. He’s already one of the top all time Met killers and the face of the Jimmy Rollins Met Killer Memorial Site.

rollins memorial

The re-occurring Murph embarrassment is not something I was prepared for in 2016. I have to be honest. I expected him to perform at a high level once he signed with Washington. I knew he would have a big season and have some big moments against us. But then I decided to lie to myself. I focused on the Murph ball. I imagined him booting grounders against us or making horrendous throws from second base and costing the Nationals games. I refused to start preemptively hating Murph for no reason. Well in 2016 he’s given us a reason to hate him. We haven’t seen Murph ball in the field against the Mets. And his .438/.462/.875 batting line with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs is a pretty solid reason to despise him.

So in my mind he’s now our top nemesis. I’ve heard people say they are excited to see him excelling and blah blah blah. No way. You certainly can be mad at the Wilpons and Sandy for letting him go if you want. But you can’t enjoy Murph crushing the Mets while simultaneously rooting for the Mets. That’s impossible. So let the hate boil. As the Evil Emperor in Star Wars once said, “Let the hate flow through you.” It’s time for us to embrace Murph as public enemy number one.

Weekly Roundup: Takeout Slides, Chipper Predictions, and Prayers for Maverick

MLB/Union Closer to 2B Takeout Slide Rule Change: I ranted in a January 27th post about how the league still hasn’t done a damn thing to rectify the 2B takeout slide problem. Well it seems they heard my complaining. Now that Ruben Tejada has finally shed his walking boot and Jung Ho Kang is making big strides in his daily physical therapy, the league has finally made some alleged progress. Heck, according to Buster Olney’s report, the Union and MLB claim they may make real changes before the season begins. Olney said they want to make sure runners “touch the base or make an effort to touch the base”. The planned rule change is meant to “improve safety” while maintaining “players’ aggressiveness”. In addition, they are still debating whether slides in question can be reviewed by instant replay.

So to recap, the current 2B slide rule essentially says the runner should be close enough to touch the base. The proposed new rule would say the runner must attempt to touch the base, and it wouldn’t discourage aggressive slides. I can really see the differences in the rules. Sounds like a groundbreaking reform that will really change the sport. And of course they don’t want umpires to be able to review these types of slides because it may slow down the games. This is going to go well. I will reserve judgement until the final rule is published but needless to say I’m skeptical. If it goes anything like when they changed the home plate collision rules, we are in for a long season full of confused players, managers, and umpires.

Chipper Predictions: Chipper Jones in a radio interview this week said the Mets are his early season favorite to win the World Series. Larry is really something else. From the Mets archrival to the team’s biggest booster. After the Chase Utley takeout slide he came out and ripped Chase a new one. Now he’s endorsing the Mets as future 2016 World Champions? And it’s not like he’s unemployed and endorsing the Mets from his couch. He literally works for the Braves. He just got hired as a special assistant.

He’s got to be working an angle. Still trolling us after all those years of crushing the franchise. It started with him naming his kid Shea. Now he’s taking it up a notch by pretending to be our biggest fan. I completely understand why Chipper would love our team. It’s designed exactly like his 90s Braves squad. A potential juggernaut built around young pitching. However, I think Chipper’s “love affair” with the pitching rich Mets is kind of like Eli Manning’s “love” for his brother Peyton. Right now, Chipper has the championship swag like Eli did before last week’s Super Bowl. So he’s “rooting” for the Mets like Eli was “rooting” for Peyton. The Mets are just a similarly designed team with aspirations to be as successful as the 90s Braves. We want to win 14 consecutive division titles like the Braves did between 1991 and 2005. We want to advance to the World Series 5 times like they did in the 90s. But the second we win one lone championship like Chipper did with the 1995 Braves, his cheerleader routine will stop. If we ever found a way to win two, Chipper could have twins named Citifield and Shake Shack, and he still wouldn’t get his championship mojo back.

Pray for Maverick (and Wright): Sandy Alderson conducted an interview with Steve Serby of the NY Post. First off, in the interview Sandy talked about how he was diagnosed with cancer four days after the Mets clinched the NL East last season, and he is still undergoing chemotherapy. The guy is a front office legend and clearly tough as hell. I hope the Wilpons actually give him some time off this season so he can recover instead of making him face the relentless media day in and day out. But it’s more likely the Wilpons remain in the panic room they had built in 2008 after Madoff was arrested and just let their lackey John Ricco deal with the press. Either way, pray for Sandy.

And while we are at it, pray for David Wright. Sandy said he hopes David and his titanium spine can play 130 games next season. Honestly, I will take anything we can get from David. 100 games would work for me. Quite frankly, we’d be better off keeping Wright cryogenically frozen until 2017 when the NL institutes the DH so he can take that job full time. Although considering our trainer Ray Ramirez can barely administer an X-Ray, I’m not sure I’d trust him to handle the freezing procedure.

Two New Cubans: This week, two new Cubans defected from the motherland. 31 year old 3B Yulieski Gourriel and 22 year old SS/OF Lourdes Gourriel Jr. were supposedly two of the top players remaining in Cuba. Are they brothers? Noooooo…….Yes!!!!

These two brothers are expected to be impact players in the major leagues. Pretty much like every Cuban player that has defected to date. The older brother Yulieski is supposed to have an immediate impact while the younger brother may need some minor league seasoning. It’s hard to complain about the Mets lack of interest in Cuban players considering we just signed the best one in the business. That being said, John Ricco should have a welcome party on standby in Florida, and we should be signing every Cuban player that comes ashore. Especially a Cuban star that plays 3B considering Wright is our biggest question mark. But I’m sure he’ll just wind up a Yankee as they are one of the teams rumored to have interest.

Clippard Departs, Mejia Promptly Banned: I wrote earlier this week about the departure of Tyler Clippard for a 2 year deal in Arizona. And of course, four days later Jenrry Mejia is promptly banned from the game for life due to a third positive PED test. Mejia getting banned for life makes too much sense. Things were too quiet in Mets land. It was inevitable that the first bad thing of 2016 was going to happen. I also think it’s hilarious that at the trade deadline we acquired Clippard and immediately afterwards Mejia received his second steroid suspension. And now once again, Clippard’s move and Mejia’s suspension happen simultaneously.

Mejia wasn’t part of the team last year, and we replaced Clippard with Antonio Bastardo, so I suppose our pen will be fine. But it still isn’t good that two relief options for 2016 have evaporated in one week. And speaking of Bastardo, he has to be next on the Mets steroid watch list right? He’s been suspended before, and it wouldn’t shock me at all to see our primary set up man go down for a second time.

Royals Plan Two World Series Celebrations: The Royals announced this week that they plan to have a World Series celebration in both games against the Mets to start the season. Banner raising the first game and then ring presentations on night two. Really just rubbing our faces in it. Well that’s just perfect. At least this doubles the chances for former Royals Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto to catch the ceremonies on TV. But in all seriousness, screw the Royals. I hope this fires the Mets up and helps them keep their eyes on the ultimate prize.

Minor League Notes: This week the Mets signed Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. He may play all 3 outfield positions but he’ll never fill the void left by Triple A Vegas legend Kirk “3 Dingers” Nieuwenhuis.

Also, the Texas Rangers have officially signed former Met Ike Davis to a minor league deal. Oh how the mighty have fallen. From first round pick to Quadruple-A All-Star. I’m not sure how smart it was for him to take the deal considering Texas is just over an hour flight from Arizona where he contracted his Valley Fever. Although I suppose he had no real choice. Maybe another fresh start will finally cure him of the Valley Fever aka Mets disease. Nothing worked for Jason Bay, but perhaps there’s still hope for Ike. Not bloody likely.