Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lil' Murph's Diary: With Great Mustache Comes Great Responsibility

Dear Diary,

Well I have to admit it. Your friend Daniel Murphy is in, what they call in baseball slang, A HITTING SLUMP.

It's no fun to admit it, but my batting average, which is used to being well over .300, is now around .270. I still have no home runs and just feel lousy as can be at the plate.

When I'm going normal the baseball looks like a nice big grapefruit and my bat feels like a wide paddle that has no problem smacking it squarely.  Nowadays that ball looks like a tiny grape coming at me at 90 mph and it's like I'm trying to strike it with a #2 pencil.

I imagine it's looking to me like it did to poor Ike during the first part of the season when he had his slump or maybe like what it looks to our backup catcher Mike Nickeas (who doesn't hit good at all but has awesome hair) ALL the time.
While it's bad for any of us to be in a slump it's kind of worser for me.  Because I think we both know that my defense at second base is kind of a "work in progress". That's a fancy way of saying that I'm still not very good out there. Sure, I'm better at second than I ever was when they tried me in the outfield but everyone knows that my best real position is BATTERS BOX.  At least it used to be.

And it's not like I'm not trying to unslump. (That's a word, right?)

I've been working a lot with Hudgy - that's Dave Hudgens, our Mets team hitting coach.  Hudgy is a good guy and works hard at his job.  He's the one who's told us all to take more pitches, get more walks, and try to get the other team's starting pitcher out of the game early.   Usually that's a great idea excepting how we often play teams where the relievers they bring in are as good as or better than the starters we've pushed out.

We played those Cincinnatis recently and they brought in a guy named Chapman.  The dude throws like a bazillion miles per hour and is a lefty just to make matters even dicier for me and all of us other lefties.  Jeesh, I'm thinking, this is what we tried to get the starter out for?

Now, of course, some teams have bullpenners who are far worse than the starters.  Like us. We batters have a little saying that we use when the relief guys aren't around.  Let's see if I can remember how it goes.  Oh, yeah, here it is: "Our bullpen SUCKS."

But I'm getting off track.  Back to my slump.

The other day I'm in the film room and Hudgy has it all set up with a screen on the left showing my early season form.  I'm getting solid singles and doubles one after the other.  And then the other screen, the one on the right, had my recent at bats and it's like one dribbler or weak popup after another.   Hudgy asked me to watch it intently for a few minutes and then said, "OK Murph.  Do you notice any difference between these screens?"   I said, "Sure coach.  On this one here I seem to be hitting the ball real hard and on this other one I'm not."

That's when he slapped his forehead hard with his hand.  This is a subtle signal to me that I probably gave him the wrong answer.  If you ever see Hudgy in the dugout and his forehead is a lot redder than the rest of his face it's probably one of the days that he and I have been working together.

Me at the fake mustache store!
So as you can imagine I'm getting desperate. I've decided to be like those hockey guys and grow a beard for luck.  Unfortunately, I couldn't grow a beard so I decided to grow a mustache. Unfortunately, I couldn't grow one of those either so I bought a glue-on mustache from a place called "Ricky's" in NYC. 

So far I think everyone is fooled so that's half the battle. Now we'll just wait and see if it brings me any luck at the plate.

Hopefully the next time I write to you I'll be hitting good again.  With Ronnie (Cedeno) and Ruben (Tejada) back I better get my rear end in gear soon or else your friend Daniel will start to really lose playing time.  And that would really suck.

Your Friend,     

All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Story by Larry Smith. You can follow Larry on twitter @dr4sight

No comments:

Post a Comment

This Month's Most Popular

All Time Most Popular