February 1, 2021: What Kind of Fool Doesn't Think About It?
Daniel Murphy retired. Steven Cohen logged off. Nolan Arenado isn't likable anymore. The Mets are hiring and looking for passion.
Daniel Murphy announced his retirement from baseball on Friday. He is two years younger than me.
Murph debuted in August 2008. He made a critical error in left field on Opening Day 2009. I know it must come off as dramatic to call an Opening Day error “critical” (or any mistake in sports “critical”). I assure you, it was.
Thankfully #28 was moved to second base. He nailed it when he was once asked what his position was and said “#3 hitter.” He would sometimes make a legitimately great defensive play and look almost as surprised as the viewers at home of his accomplishment.
The best descriptor of the guy for a long time was “Odd Duck.” He memorably once said
unironically. He tended to apply chap stick while on the field, just couldn’t wait until he got to the dugout while the Mets were batting. He would look up at airplanes while on the on-deck circle as if they weren’t a constant presence over Citi Field. He would, as I believe Gary Cohen put it, run the bases sometimes as if he thought he was invisible.
When Cohen doesn’t like a player he expresses his displeasure subtlely, using his years of broadcasting and Ivy League education to utter the most innocent string of words possible, at a frequency where a casual viewer wouldn’t detect anything amiss, but not so rare that an avid, every day watcher would never pick up on it. It is a reward to the most dedicated SNY consumers.
Oh wow, Gare has no earthly clue why Gavin Cecchini is still getting playing time.
This made Gare’s “net negative” grade on Daniel Murphy late in the 2015 season so surprising. When Murphy broke a MLB record by hitting a home run in six consecutive playoff games, Bobby Valentine uttered a burn so piping hot it made the SNY camera crew laugh.
Or maybe it was Keith Hernandez laughing. I know it wasn’t Gare’s laugh. I know Gare’s laugh. Keith was with Gary Cohen in an adjoining studio. I don’t think Bobby V has been back in the SNY studio since that year. At least not with Cohen.
So yeah, Murph gave us that classic, and I am eternally grateful. But 2015 was also the year Daniel Murphy said he “did not agree” with MLB ambassador Billy Bean’s gay “lifestyle” after Bean visited the Mets during spring training. I think it’s important to quote him verbatim on something like this:
I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.
Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree about the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There's a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That's not love. That's not love at all.
Bean was incredibly gracious about the whole thing, developing a friendship with Murphy. But Murph never changed his mind. He would not make the same effort he made in working on his baseball talents to understand how insulting and ignorant it was to refer to homosexuality as a “lifestyle”. As someone intelligent enough to put on a baseball uniform all by himself, there is no excuse for Murphy to not do the work to understand homosexuality isn’t a choice, and the Bible’s text is really, really open to interpretation, and nowhere in any version does it say homosexuality is a sin. That it is hypocritical to say you love everyone and dismiss individuals for intimately loving someone they are attracted to because, by Murph’s logic, it was how God made them.
Saying you don’t agree with a gay man’s lifestyle is not love. It is not love at all.
Without Murphy’s home run and the one instance
his “invisible” baserunning paid off,
the Mets don’t beat the Dodgers in the fifth and deciding game of the NLDS. The Mets probably would have swept the Cubs in the NLCS without the four home runs in four games from #28, but they certainly helped. Some Met fans who were at the very least disappointed and angry at what Murphy said about Billy Bean were able to just enjoy the ride to the World Series. Others couldn’t separate the man from the athletic heroics. I fell in the latter camp.
Why couldn’t it have been literally any other Met who hit six home runs in six games to carry the team to the World Series?
I pretty much hated Daniel Murphy for making me feel bad for being happy the Mets won the pennant. And then I hated myself for hating anyone.
And then Murphy signed with the Washington Nationals and hit something like .800 against the Mets for awhile. But he never got a World Series ring with them, nor with the Cubs later on. Oh dear.
I would like to think the world has changed enough in six years where if Murphy said what he said today, there would be less tolerance from fans to have to root for a team employing such an intolerant and ignorant human being, leading in more of an effort from the player to get educated. I would like to think.
Steven Cohen Logged Off. Only Temporarily, For Some Reason
Cohen left Twitter because of threats to his family. That isn’t cool.
I’m sure there’s some witty comment theorizing on the possible cosmic humor in a man accused by
two female employees of harassment
getting bullied offline by misogynist Tavernfool meatheads, but that seems like something
is probably doing from his snicker cave, so I’ll pass.
Nolan Arenado Was Sold to the Cardinals
Technically he was traded for a couple of whatever prospects, but really, he was sold — $50 million is changing hands.
It’s too bad this happened because 1)I liked Nolan Arenado and 2)MLB’s middle class is continuing to disintegrate. Like America!
Hey Longhair, Wanna Work for the Mets?
The Mets are searching far and wide (Linkedin) for a
VP in Technology Solutions
. Could this be you?
The New York Mets are seeking a passionate, solutions-oriented technologist to share their technology vision, identify efficiencies and solutions for the Front office team at Citi Field. Our Technology Solutions leader will partner closely with the business, understanding the processes of each department, identify and implement efficiencies through the use of technology.
I think 90 percent of my readership is passionate and solutions-oriented. Apply! Tell 'em Roger sent ya.
IS THIS THE ANNIVERSARY OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT?
Yes! 13 YEARS AGO
Johan Santana signed a six-year, $137.5 million deal with the Mets, days after he was acquired from the Twins. Santana was on the mound for the Mets’ season opener in 2009 when (There’s) Chappy Sticklove made his boo-boo. Santana had much better defense in left after that day, most notably on June 1, 2012.
IS IT SOMEONE SPECIAL’S BIRTHDAY TODAY?
Austin Jackson is now 35 years young. If it wasn’t for him David Wright would still be an active player, because that Marlins-Mets game looked like it would never ever ever ever ever never end. Thankfully, the birthday boy hit a walk-off double in the 13th to break a 0-0 tie on David Wright Night. Thank you, Austin.
SLOAN’S CHRIS MURPHY HAS BEEN
DIAGNOSED WITH BELL’S PALSY
HOPEFULLY HE’S ONLY GOING THROUGH A PHASE.