Well it’s suddenly February and that big football game is only a few days away. And you know what my favorite part of the Super Bowl is? No, the thought of seeing Tom Brady miserable, or seeing what kind of weird/creepy/funny commercial ETrade has in store for us. No, it’s more of the fact that as soon as the game is over, it’s baseball time.
Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Port St. Lucie on February 20th and the Mets first Spring Training game is March 5th vs. the Washington Nationals. Now, many Mets fans aren’t too excited for the season to start, but I am. Sure it’s a different looking team without Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, but there’s a lot to be excited about going into the season. I’m not going to get into that right now however, I’ll save that topic for another week. The one guy who seems to be more excited than most for the 2012 season is Daniel Murphy.
After his terrible injury in 2011, Murphy has a new fire and seems to be on a mission to master second base. He knows that he isn’t the best second baseman in the world so he’s had to work extra hard this off-season, not only coming back from a major knee injury but to get more comfortable with the position. He’s already putting together a plan with third base coach Tim Teufel about how to improve his skills at second base.
Last night at the Thurman Munson Award Dinner Murphy said he expects the Mets to make the playoffs this season. Obviously there was an open bar at this dinner, but nevertheless it’s showing what kind of player Murphy will be this year. The Mets are a team of many young players with uncertainty around the veterans on the. From this, Murphy is beginning to come out as one of the leaders of this team.
Murphy always seems to have his energy about him. He might not be the most gifted player out there on the field, but he’s to work harder and harder to become better every day. So not only is Murphy one of the more valuable hitters in the line-up, he’s setting an example of how hard everyone else on this team should be willing to work and the level of expectations they have for their level of play.
It appears now with Reyes gone, that Murphy is going to be that spark plug for the Mets. No one is going to be able to replace Reyes’ numbers on the field and the excitement that he would bring to the ballpark. But someone is going to have to replace that spark that gets the team going, and right now that player looks like Daniel Murphy.
He certainly has the ability to be that player with his leadership and good hitting, he just needs to pass his attitude onto the other players on the field. It seems he’s taken on a more vocal role in the clubhouse, now he just needs to bring the excitement onto the field and get everyone else going, much like how Reyes did. Hopefully he is ready and able to take on this role because I know he is the type of player who is capable of doing it.