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Murphy's Law: How the Mets may have given away the NL East

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I don't know who gave Mets GM Sandy Alderson the idea that Daniel Murphy was expendable after his October home run barrage. Yes, the fact remains he ran out of gas in the World Series, and New York lost in 5 to Kansas City. For some reason, the Wilpons decided they didn't need Murphy anymore, and, oh, how he has made them pay in the first 3 1/2 months of the season.

Consider: With Murphy gone, the Mets traded for Neil Walker, and looked like geniuses doing so, since Jon Niese hasn't exactly lit it up on the mound in Pittsburgh. In fact, Niese was lit up in his last start on Sunday. However, 1B Lucas Duda went on the DL a few weeks back, and the Mets went out and traded cash for James Loney. They wouldn't have had to do that if they kept Murphy. But, no, they wanted to have a spot available on the roster for Dilson Herrera when he was ready to come up full time to the big club. Now, you have Loney, Wimer Flores, and Kelly Johnson sharing 1st base, and if David Wright ever comes back from his latest injury, I'd say he'd be going across the diamond, like his friend and rival, Ryan Zimmerman, now a teammate of Murphy's with Washington. Zimmerman went on the DL prior to the just completed series at Citi Field. Maybe the Wilpons had the thought in their minds that Wright would eventually have to change positions, and that convinced them, more than money reasons, to cut ties with Murphy.

All last year's NLCS MVP has done to the Mets is hit 7 home runs, including 3 in the just completed series. He leads the NL in batting, and will be an All-Star reserve again this year. He deserved to start, but Cubs fans flooded the ballot boxes for utility man Ben Zobrist, among others. Murphy is hitting .400+ vs. the Mets, and is one big reason why Washington sits atop the NL East, as some pundits had predicted, with a 6 game lead at the All-Star break.

It's easy to play "what if?", and wonder what might've been, but the Mets, plagued with injuries anew, an annual occurrence at Citi Field, might be wishing they weren't so impulsive last winter. One decision made may in fact be what costs them a return trip to the playoffs, and they only have themselves to blame.


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