David Lennon is an award-winning columnist and author who has been a staff writer at Newsday since 1991. Show More
Daniel Murphy is going to be in a Mets uniform for as long as this magical playoff run continues, so it's probably wise to stop with the hyperventilating and listen to the man himself.
When Murphy isn't destroying baseballs, as he did with his record fifth homer of this postseason Sunday night in NLCS Game 2, he is dispatching some smart advice.
"Tomorrow has enough worry for itself," Murphy said. "So really try to enjoy the moment. We've worked hard to get here, so why not enjoy it?"
Hear that? For all those fretting over whether the Mets' 2016 plans include Murphy -- don't. He stopped sweating it a while ago, when the Mets told him they had no interest in discussing an extension before the end of the season.
And every time the Murphy question has been floated to the front office during the past six months, the answer has been the same. They couldn't envision a scenario in which Murphy would be on the roster next year.
That's not meant as a slight against Murphy. It's just that the Mets haven't valued him as a bat-only player at the price he's expected to command: either $15.8 million for a one-year qualifying offer or upwards of $10 million per on a multiyear extension.
So what if Murphy is inflating his next contract offer with every swing? Right now, his plate production is getting them that much closer to the World Series. What good would it do the Mets to suddenly whisper during the playoffs that they've reconsidered and intend to have Murphy as their second baseman for the next half-decade or so?
The Mets have other goals right now, as does Murphy. That's not to say he won't gladly accept whatever financial windfall comes along, but let's sit back and savor the spectacle while it lasts. Murphy is.
"I try not to look too far ahead," he said. "You never think that you're going to be fortunate enough to be on a ballclub like this. You dream of it."
And Murphy is putting on quite the show. In the first inning On Sunday night, Jake Arrieta threw him a looping 80-mph curveball that Murphy golfed and hooked a few feet inside the rightfield foul pole. His fifth homer was the most for a Met in a single postseason and matched Mike Piazza's career playoff mark for the franchise. It took Piazza 22 games and Murphy only seven. He's hit two off Clayton Kershaw and one each off Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Arrieta.
"He's been as hot as anybody I've ever seen," David Wright said.
Murphy also has homered in four consecutive playoff games, becoming the eighth player and first since the Rays' Evan Longoria (2008) to do so.
Carlos Beltran went deep in five straight for the Astros during his epic 2004 postseason, then signed a seven-year, $119-million contract with the Mets that winter.
No one knows yet where Murphy will wind up, but in the meantime, he's surpassed Wilmer Flores as Flushing's favorite son. In the third inning, after Murphy was welcomed to the plate by a standing ovation, Joe Maddon took the unprecedented step of intentionally walking him with Curtis Granderson already on second base and Yoenis Cespedes behind him.
"I was surprised," Murphy said, smiling. "Ces hit 35 bombs this year."
When Cespedes drove in a run with an infield single, Maddon probably still felt the move was better than letting Murphy wreck the game.
"I didn't want to mess with it," Maddon said later.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Murphy problem isn't so easily dismissed, because he's not going anywhere.