Life has been hectic for me lately like it is for many of you which means I haven’t been able to write as much as I would like to. For that, I apologize to our readers.

I’m trying to play catch up on everything which brings me to writing about a guy I have criticized on numerous occasions, David Murphy. I’ve always liked Murphy as a person, teammate and fringe starting outfielder. No, he’s not of the caliber of a Rusty Greer, but that is okay.

Murphy retired on April 25 to little fanfare. He was looking for a major-league deal this season that wasn’t to be found. On April 26, Murphy jumped on the Ben & Skin Show and discussed why he made the decision to hang up the cleats and glove permanently. That radio segment is a must listen for fans of Murphy.

Murphy Comes Home

The native Texan came to the Rangers in 2007 in a trade along with Engel Beltre and Kason Gabbard from Boston for Eric Gagne. Murphy looked comfortable in Arlington as he hit .340/.382/.534 in 43 games that 2007 season.

Murph would go on to play seven seasons for the Rangers where he hit .275/.337/.440 with a 104 OPS+ and 11.1 wins. Murphy had a key role in the Rangers first World Series run when David hit .291/.358/.449 with a career-high 14 stolen bases and accumulated 2.6 wins. The following season saw Murphy’s numbers dip to a 92 OPS+ and only 0.9 wins.

We all know how the 2011 season finished. It was a disappointing season for Murphy, but it didn’t carry until the next season for him. The 2012 season was Murphy’s best. At age 30, David hit .304/.380/.479 with a 126 OPS+ and 3.7 wins. He finished sixth on the team in wins and was third in OPS+. With only one year remaining on his contract, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Murphy would get a contract extension after 2013.

David Murphy: Shutdown Reliever

Overall, the 2013 season was horrendous for Murphy. He only hit .220/.282/.374 which was a career-worst. It was also the worst time to have a down year as he was playing for a contract. While it was a wash of a season for the 31-year-old, he did have his moment on June 4.

With the team down 17-3 against the Red Sox, Murphy took the mound to stop the bleeding.

“I wasn’t trying to mess around,” Murphy said. “My arm is definitely not in condition to pitch, and I didn’t want to do anything silly or anything I would have regretted. I mean, it would have been fun to throw as hard as you can and light up the radar gun, but I wasn’t going to do that.”

No, Murph didn’t light up the radar gun as he topped out at 79 mph, but he did strike out Mike Carp and got David Ortiz to flyout to center.

“It was fun to do,” Murphy said. “It will be fun someday to look back and say I did that in a big league game.”

The 2013 season ended and Murphy never received that big contract he had once hoped for. There wasn’t a need for a struggling platoon outfielder that was on the wrong side of 30. The Rangers would go on to sign Shin-Soo Choo to a large contract in the off-season. Ironically, Murphy didn’t fare much worse than Choo that season (97 OPS+ compared to Choo’s 100) as David played the entire year in Cleveland.

David Murphy remains a fan favorite in Texas and while it may be a stretch to call him a “Texas Rangers Legend,” he is that in the minds of many folks who have followed the Rangers during the Camelot years.

Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9. Formerly with @wfaasports, @shutdowninning and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.



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