38 thoughts on “Dale Murphy, of course”

  1. How could any Braves fan not love Dale Murphy?

    In fact, you could argue that, between 1980 & 1987, Murphy was the best all-around player in baseball. Is that enough for the HoF? Probably not, given the offensive explosion that ensued almost immediately after his retirement.

    The conversation about his HoF chances kinda reminds me of the one we seem to have every year about Gil Hodges: Outstanding person, several consecutive big offensive years (relative to the era), terrific defensive player, lifetime stats somehow fall a tiny bit short of those odd “magic numbers” that voters seem to appreciate. (Of course, Hodges’ accomplishments include the fact that he managed the “Miracle Mets,” too.)

    In a short interview with SI this week, the Murphy was asked about his HoF chances. His response: “I’m realistic about my chances…I’m not sitting on pins and needles.”

    Humble as ever.

  2. Murph should definitely be enshrined. One of the best tests to me is the gut reaction test.
    Dale Murphy? Yes – HOF’er.
    Even people who were not Braves fans in the 80’s know that Dale was one of the premiere palyers of his era. Even though he was the only bright spot on those Braves teams, his talent and professionalism was recongized far and near. Too many of the voters look too closely at stats looking for reasons to keep people out.

  3. Murph was/is a class act. I spotted him sitting in a luxury box during the ’96 WS in ATL with his family. He signed a baseball and carried on a coversation with me as if I were one of his old time friends. I’ll never forget that of him. Murph for HOF!

  4. Murphy was a really great player in his prime and probably one of the top two players in the National League for several years. The only reservation I have about him is that his prime was so short. He only had 5 or 6 really good years and I’m not convinced that is enough for the Hall of Fame, especially since, even relative to that era, they were very good, but not phenomenal years.

  5. I think you have to look beyond raw numbers. Back-Back MVP is not easy task. I think its been done 11 times in over a century. That is back-to-back MVP with an Atlanta franchise that didnt just fall into winning seasons back then. I say vote em in. He played the game without the steroids and supplements of today. I say if you are a top 5 player for a decade, you get the nod. My dog, Murphy, agrees. Although, she would have preferred a slightly more feminine name.

  6. In fact, you could argue that, between 1980 & 1987, Murphy was the best all-around player in baseball

    You could, but it would be much better if you used Schmidt instead, even with endpoints selected to boost Murph. A great one, much loved, but let’s not get silly.

  7. Too many of the voters look too closely at stats looking for reasons to keep people out

    Oh I wish that were true. Most voters either look at the wrong wstats, or don’t look at all. That’s what gets the Jack Morrises of the world votes every year.

  8. Murphy’s peak value showed likely HOF potential, but his career went south suddenly and dramatically at age 32, much too early for HOF consideration.

    Think of him lunging at low outside curveballs in 1988, 1989, and 1990 (.226, .228, .232) until the Braves finally dumped him and got precious little in return. His 1981 and 1986 seasons also add little to his case. Murph belongs in the Braves HOF and his behavior and decency make him an all time all-star in that category. But objectively speaking, Dale wasn’t Cooperstown material.

    However many guys in the HOF including Ty Cobb and Cap Anson will be looking up at Dale when life’s overall achievements are tallied.

  9. I’m disappointed that JC’s method did not yield Ron Santo as a likely inductee. Virtually every respectable positional analysis shows him to be in the top eight or so of all-time 3Bs, the most underrepresented position in the HOF.

    I’d be happy if Santo, Blyleven, and Gossage eventually get in. I don’t think Murph makes the cut, much as I loved him as a kid.

  10. Spike,

    I said “you could argue”; I didn’t say you’d be right. And why do you think I picked those years between ’80-’87?

    As I’m still not sure how to evaluate many of the post-1994 players, I consider Mike Schmidt to be the greatest all-round player in my baseball-conscious lifetime.

    But as a Braves fan who endured the Marty Perez Era, I gotta love The Murph.

  11. Objectively, I know there’s no way Murphy will get in unless the entire Hall selection process is overhauled. Offensive numbers were so down in the 1970’s and 1980’s that even if a player dominated his league in his era–like Dick Allen, Jim Rice, and Dale Murphy–his numbers paled in comparison to the stars of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    I’d love it if Murph got in, but if Arthur Blank buys the Braves and gets us a nice payroll increase, that’ll be more than enough for me.

  12. And ububba, I know you may not want to admit it, but Barry Bonds was probably the best all-around player in your baseball-conscious lifetime.

  13. Sorry, sorry…

    So here’s a discussion question: who’s the worst active GM in baseball? Is it Jim Bowden? Jim Hendry? Dan O’Dowd?

  14. Interesting question, Alex. I think I have to go for Jim Bowden. He just has a total incomprehension of how to build a team with the park he has and an utter lack of understanding of what makes a good baseball player. It’s like he’s stuck in 1990 on that. Soriano? Preston Wilson? Vinny Castilla? Cristian Guzman? Ugh.

    Of course, Jim Hendry has failed to fire Dusty Baker.

  15. Another Alex R,

    Bonds vs. Schmidt? I’ll take Schmidt.

    As I made the point before, Bonds’ best work came after 1994, so I’m not sure how to evaluate/compare a guy who all-of-a-sudden looked like Popeye, whose head bulged like a water balloon & got dramatically better with age. (And don’t even try to explain that–73 HRs, please…) He’s great (and he was before ’94), but in my mind all of his post-94 record numbers ain’t completely real.

    All things being equal, was Bonds better than Schmidt? Who the hell knows.

    Would Bonds have kept putting up those late-80s/early ’90s numbers without help? Would any human being ever hit 73 homers without help? Gee, it only took 100 years and several advancements in chemistry to get there. I know what I think, and as long as I harbor any suspicions I’m always gonna lean on the side of guys like Aaron & Schmidt.

    Bonds can have the bogus records and the money–but he’ll always bear the burden of lifetime fans like me who think he’s a great player whose late-career numbers are tarnished to a degree that we can’t measure.

  16. “Dale has better numbers than Duke Snider, and Snider is in the hall…”

    Duke Snider played in NY and was featured in a song which equated him to Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. I have to join the group that thinks Dale Murphy falls short of the Hall.

  17. I don’t know about all his moves but Littlefield’s recent move to get Casey doesn’t make any sense. He trades away a young pitcher for an older first baseman who blocks the first baseman of the future in Eldred. Makes sense for a team who is trying to make the playoffs this year but not for a team that is trying to build on young guys.

    I also have to agree with the Bowden nominee. The Soriano deal has blown up in his face.

  18. From AJC.com:
    “The Braves cut ties with veteran reliever Jim Brower on Wednesday.
    The team did sign right-hander Wes Obermueller to a minor-league contract with a shot at winning a roster spot in spring training.”
    The rest of the article goes on to say that the Braves are happy with their young relievers, so Brower was expendable.

  19. Dale has better numbers than Duke Snider, and Snider is in the hall…”

    Not to sound all grinchy and mean, but

    Geez did you even look their stats up before posting?

    Dale Murphy
    18 seasons .265/346/369 OPS+ 121, RC/27 5.71

    Duke Snider
    18 seasons .295/380/540 OPS+140 RC/27 7.48

    How does Murph come out on top here?

    Duke had a few more HR’s too, in at least as tough – and I think tougher without doing too much research – HR era.

  20. I think you may have mistyped a digit, spike, it looks like his career SLG is .469, not .369. It kind of makes a BIG difference :-)

    I’m not old enough to remember Dale Murphy. I was 5 1/2 when he retired. So, just going off the numbers, he looks very, very borderline. His 2nd most comparable player IS Duke Snider, but I just don’t know. He’s good, but I don’t know if he’s THAT good.

  21. True dat…but I was thinking, gee, if the guy’s career OPS is .715, why are we even talking about this? :-)

  22. As per projo.com and rotowire.com, the Braves are close to dealing Ryan Langerhans to Cleveland for an unspecified player. Either Riske or Betancourt I would assume. The article speculates that the trade would trigger the Indians dealing Coco to Boston for Marte.

  23. Hm, I don’t like to see Langerhans leave when my personal feeling is that he is more valuable to us now than KJ. But, im betting it will be Riske. And, i am hoping that JS doesn’t believe he is our guy with closer like stuff.

    But, Riske has been very consistent.

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