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Friday, July 10, 2009

Make Daniel Murphy lineup follies more fan-friendly

What does Daniel Murphy have to do to get a chance to stay in the lineup? Even after a great game on Wednesday night, he finds himself on the bench because Jerry Manuel keeps trying to recapture last year's magic with Fernando Tatis.

Manuel cannot use the Dodgers starting lefty Randy Wolf last night as an excuse. Murphy is hitting .281 this year against lefties, as opposed to .237 against righties.

Nobody is saying Murphy is the next Albert Pujols. But at least give him consistent playing time to give him a chance to show what he can do. Fernando Martinez got that opportunity, even when it was clear that he was not ready to stay in the majors.

As long as Manuel seems to be pulling lineups out of a hat, why not turn it into a fan event? Put the names of all of the possible first basemen and outfielders into a hat, and the first four pulled out get to start. Manuel can decide what positions they play and where they bat in the order - he is the manager, after all.

Or the Mets could turn the scoreboard truck race into a battle for playing time between Murphy, Tatis and Nick Evans.

I would suggest having the Mets do their own version of the Milwaukee sausage race, in which Murphy, Tatis and Evans race around the field in a battle to get in the lineup, but knowing this team, somebody would pull a hamstring.