hellloooooooo: daniel murphy

This is the second in what was supposed to be a series highlighting exceptional play and unbearable cuteness from the most unlikely of places, but after that first one it all went downhill for the Mets last year. In both matters, really. The last half of 2007 was full of spotty play at best, and was certainly not that cute.

But huzzah! We have found a new inspiration, a new love in our lives. Matt Cerrone calls him his favorite player. As did BMF. Greg Prince labeled him “Dandy,” which is high praise indeed, considering the source. And Joe Janish has made a shirt in his honor, which I will probably have to buy. It’s only been a week and rookie Daniel Murphy has captured Mets fans with his play, which reminds me of a bulldog, somehow. His leaps against walls to take away extra-base hits! His tenacious at-bats, which always seem to go deep in the count. And of course his pinch-hit two-run homer which proved to be the difference maker in Saturday’s game, compelling the entirety of Shea to beg for a curtain call. And Murphy, with the egging on of Carlos Delgado, no less, obliged.

Daniel Murphy, who in a measly 23 at-bats is batting .478 and has a .571 OBP. This won’t continue, certainly, but there’s something about his approach at the plate–a “general air of fearlessness,” says Jason Fry–that makes me believe he’s going to be a valuable hitter for some time. He’s the kind of player that ignites passion merely because he plays with same, in a disciplined, focused, non-flashy kind of way. A real blue-collar hard-nosed worker. Someone baseball fans will always appreciate.

And he seems like a nice young man to boot. Being interviewed by Eddie Coleman after Saturday’s game, Murphy said (in his deep deep voice, swoon), “You can’t say enough about ___________” maybe four or five times. About his teammates, the hitting, the organization, the pitching, about Beltran quietly taking him under his wing. Maybe he’s getting his media coaching from David Wright. Move over Davey boy, there’s a new heartthrob in town.

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