Monday, January 25, 2010


Dear Wilpons,
I was reading a post by Matt Cerrone on today about Daniel Murphy, and it got me excited to watch him play this season. In an era where athletes are so concerned about their contracts and the fans are focused on power numbers, I’m encouraged to see a guy who plays the game with the heart and passion of a little leaguer and the determination of a guy who just wants to win. Murphy talked about his off-season workout regimen, his efforts to improve defensively, and how he sees himself helping the Mets. If you haven’t read the article yet, I highly recommend you go here:

People think of first baseman, and immediately what pops into their head is guys like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, or (back in the day) Frank Thomas. I remember growing up watching baseball and seeing Frank Thomas at the plate. The guy looked like a monster, and when he got a hold of a pitch you knew immediately that it was a home run. And it’s because of these guys that people assume that in order to be a successful first baseman you have to tower over the other guys on the field and hit 30 homers a season. But that’s not always the case. There was another first baseman who stood out to me while I was growing up as well: Mark Grace. He wasn’t huge, he never had more than 17 home runs in a season, but he came to the ballpark and gave 110 percent every day and you could tell by the way he played that he loved the game. I see a lot of that in Daniel Murphy.

Let’s put aside the fact that they’re both 6’2” and they’re both lefty bats and focus on stats. Mark Grace won rookie of the year at the age of 24 with a .296 batting average, 60 walks, 57 runs batted in, 144 hits, 23 doubles, 3 triples, and 7 home runs in 134 games. At the same age, Daniel Murphy played his first full season in the bigs with a batting average of .266, 69 walks, 63 runs batted in, 135 hits, 38 doubles, 4 triples, and 12 home runs in 155 games. You know what? Put the numbers aside and just find a tape of mark grace playing baseball and compare it to the way Daniel Murphy plays. They both run out every grounder, they both sprint out to the field every inning, they both love the game.

Here’s hoping when it’s all said and done that they’ll both have similar careers.

The Fans