Can I still claim Dale Murphy as my favorite player?

When we were about eight-years-old, my best friend, Steve Myers, adopted Dale Murphy as his favorite player. Ignoring the globalized options provided by TBS, I stayed within the region and tabbed Pirates catcher Tony Pena.

More than 25 years later, it’s still obvious that I ended up on the short-end of this selection process.  While Pena taught us bad technique to utilize behind the plate, Murphy has spent his entire life proving to be a great example on and off the field.  

Murphy arrived in camp this morning and he’ll stay with the Braves over the course of the next week to essentially serve as an ambassador/special instructor.  The 53-year-old, two-time National League Most Valuable Player remains one of the kindest and most considerate individuals ever to be associated with baseball. 

I spent some time talking to Murphy and Bobby Dews about the days they spent together in the Minors.  I’ll provide more information in a story that I’m writing later this afternoon.  But to provide a teaser, I’ll let you know that it will include details about a day when Dews attempted to kick dirt toward an umpire and ended up breaking his foot. 

Transitioning from one of the most beloved outfielders in Atlanta history to the newest one, you’ll be glad to hear that Garret Anderson plans to resume running exercises on Friday.  The 36-year-old left fielder has been sidelined since March 6 with a strained right calf.  It still looks like he could return to action some time next week.

Jair Jurrjens and Mike Gonzalez are both scheduled to pitch today against the WBC-less Mets, whose lineup is headlined by Marlon Anderson, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church.  While not providing any predictions about the game, I’ll guarantee you that Church will be getting down if he’s sliding into second base with Yunel Escobar attempting to turn a double play. 

Both teams will be wearing green hats today.  And with that, I’ll say Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Today’s Lineup
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Matt Diaz LF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Omar Infante 3B
David Ross C
Josh Anderson CF
Jair Jurrjens P 

48 Comments

Given the theme of the day I suppose Eric O’Flaherty will see some action.

How about Blanco hitting .429 in the WBC. I wonder if he’s auditioning for a starting job elsewhere…

Schafer has certainly gained some supporters over the past week and from a business sense there’s still reason to believe Josh Anderson will begin the season as the starting CF. Blanco has become a forgotten figure in this battle. But I can tell you that he’s still drawing some support among the decision makers…My choice would be Schafer. But there are still some who believe he needs more seasoning at the Minor League level.

It’s never too late to claim ol’ #3 as your favorite player. I’m glad to hear he is still connected with the Braves. Makes me feel like I am 10 years old again. Sometimes I am really jealous of your job Mark !!

Dale was a great player and a real Hall of Famer in my opinion. I still don’t know how he isn’t in the Hall yet.I hope he makes it one year.

Is Blanco enough of a “team player” to take a demotion to AAA? Do the Braves still have the “option” to do so?

Yeah Darion I agree. The only thing I can figure is that the voters focus on his last few years and not the whole career. Maybe I look at it too much with my heart, and not the black and white statistical data. The guy played the game the right way. That should count for something.

Anderson flashed a little power. Frenchy is back as well.

I think Jeff has temporary bouts of amnesia – last year he forgot how to hit. Now he’s forgotten about last year.

I wouldnt be surprised.

Daniel Murphy’s two singles account for the only two hits that Jurrjens has allowed through the first four innings…David Ross showed a strong arm when he caught Murphy straying too far off first base to end the top of the fourth.

Mark you jinxed JJ. You started this blog talking about Dale Murphy and now Daniel Murphy is 2-2.

Murphy just doubled off the center field wall with two outs in the sixth…is it a jinx or just the luck of the Irish?

Alright I’ll give you the luck thing since it’s St. Patty’s day.

Im gonna go with jinx. The Braves are horrible with jinxes. I was playing MLB 09 The Show with them yesterday, and the commentators were like “no strikeouts to this point.” I struck out with the next 4 batters. Haha.

Is Murphy Irish?

jd, add me on PSN, same name as on here. I’m playing a season with the Braves, finally put together my first 2 game winning streak lol.

Jurrjens allowed four hits over six scoreless innings and recorded six strikeouts…Acosta ended the shutout bid by allowing Ryan Church to hit a long homer that flew over the right field wall and will land on Highway 192 within the next minutes.

I think that is the 3rd home run given up this Spring (not counting intersquad games).

Darion that’s still less than half of the next lowest total of any other team.

It’s even better than that. The Braves opponents slugging percentage is .302 this spring, so it’s no homers, no triples, and no doubles. That would go under the heading of “Dominating” the opponents. Well done good guys.

Did you see that Dale Murphy’s son was a 300 pound offensive lineman on the Miami Dolphins last year? Another of his kids was taking some grounder before a game last season with the braves. I saw the “3” out there with a big tall lanky kid and the flashbacks began.

What’s going on in the game. The box score is jacked up again. The scoreboard is showing 1-2 still, but looking at the Met’s pitchers it looks like it should be 1-5.

Just looking at today’s box score as that’s the only way for me to follow today’s game, but it kinda made me curious. How are the Braves’ numbers on BB’s given up as compared to other teams?

This kid Hicks looks like he’s been improving since the start of Spring Training.

nevermind. seems to be working now.

My very first braves uniform had the #3 on the back. I was 2 years old. I don’t know if you guys remember, but Murphy had a signature “bat waggle” before he stood in his stance. Watching old home videos of myself (ages 4-6) in the backyard with my father lobbing me wiffle balls, I would do that “Murphy bat waggle” every time before my dad threw me the pitch. When Murph played with the Phillies, I attended Dale Murphy night at Fulton County Stadium. I have already decided that my next dog will be named “Murphy”. Guess who my favorite Braves player of all time is???

http://bravo.mlblogs.com

Jim Edmonds

No wait, we never did make that trade…..

haha — you got me. “Saltlake” was just an alias.

asphaltcowboy816 go to Braves home page, go to stats and then to sortable team stats. From there you’ll be able to find all the team stats so far this spring. Today’s game is most likely not included yet.

cool, thanks wisbrave.

Otis Nixon charged the mound on Wally Ritchie who was pitching for the Phillies on “Dale Murphy Night” at Fulton County Stadium. It was an interesting night.

I was at today’s game. I got there early to see BP and lo and behold here is Dale Murphy right in front of me chatting with Glen Hubbard. This was a real treat.

Shortly after that Eddie Perez saw me sitting above the dugout with my glove and motioned as to throw a ball my way. I quickly put on my glove and caught the ball he threw. I then said “thanks Eddie!” and started to sit down when he said he wanted to play catch. He was standing between the dugout and the first base line and me standing above the dugout. That was just awesome!

So I guess me and mad dog have something in common… We have both thrown to Eddie Perez!

To top it off our batters looked sharp and Jurrens was lights out. I think at leat 4 of his strikeouts were on his off speed stuff (81 mph range). The ump was giving the high outside to rightys as a strike and Jurrens nailed it like clockwork.

Wow, what a finish to the USA/PR WBC game. McCann made some nice contact, but that ending was just awesome!!

Safe bet of the day, David Murphy doesn’t go 3 for 3 on Tommy Hanson today.

brav3s, I’ve been watching it also. His location on his fastball hasn’t been good (the one to Tatis was between the letters and belt on the outer half of the plate). He’s thrown some sharp breaking balls but otherwise doesn’t look good. Can’t believe the Mets are counting on Livan Herandez (ERA over 6 last year) as their fifth starter.

the game on mlb.com is also a bit of a bummer because it’s the mets broadcast team doing it

Hampton’s pitched 3 scoreless innings against the Yankees so far today

they make stupid comments about the mets too. and in one case last inning, they were flat-out wrong, saying no mets position player ever pitched until the 1990s. I remember Dave Kingman pitching in a game back in the 70s.

was that a curveball or slider that hanson just struck out reed on? that pitch dropped two feet

Maybe he has a touch of the dead arm syndrome and that’s why his velocity is down today (and location is off). I know he gave up a home run in the first, but did the error extend the inning, because it is showing 0 for ER?

johnson’s error led to the two runs hanson gave up being unearned.

happy to see prado cork one today

I don’t see anyway possible for Hanson to start the year in Atlanta, but when he does what he did today (and you guys that are able to see the game are saying he didn’t have his best stuff), then the five guys in front of him better produce. It doesn’t make sense for us to put up with anyone being mediocre when we have this guy waiting in the wings. Don’t get me wrong. I hope like hell that Glavine can be ready to go on April 18th and gives us one last season to remember, but at the same time I would hate to just write off every fifth game while he takes a victory lap.

if glavine can’t get it done, he’ll step back.

btw I’m a long-time (18 years) season-ticket holder with great seats who can’t go to every game and have some for sale, also occasionally need someone to buy my second ticket and go to the game with me. if interested, my login is my email address. I won’t go into any more details on the blog so contact me there

first time I’d ever seen o’flaherty pitch on tv. he looked pretty sharp overall, should help the team

I’ll be surprised if hanson comes up before september. I think glavine will get it done, and hudson will be back in august. barring injury, I think hanson stays at gwinnett all year

Mark, what is the plan at the end of the season once Hudson will definitely be back for the 2010 season. Please don’t tell me we spent all that money to let Javier or Kenshin go. They’d be great trade bate. Depth is wonderful but all these starters must be in a starting rotation and that doesn’t look feasible at the end of the season .

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