Dale Murphy dropped by reddit yesterday to answer a few fan questions (perhaps as a way of rallying support before the December 31 Hall of Fame ballot, the last on which his name will appear, perhaps because he felt like it). Convivial and honest as usual, Murphy gave some great answers, including posting the picture at right with no further comment when asked about his favorite flavor of ice cream. Here are some of the best exchanges:
On the new one-game wild-card playoff:
Reddit: What do you think of the 1 game wild card in the play offs? As a Braves fan, I feel pretty shafted by it. Hated to see Chipper go out like that.
Murphy: Not a fan of the one game playoff. Too many weird things can happen (as Braves fans saw last year) in one game. Would love to see it be at least a best-of-3 series.
Murphy is true SABR:
Reddit: What are your thoughts on Sabermetrics and the SABR community as a whole?
Murphy: I'm supportive of any attempt to improve and advance the game, and Sabermetrics definitely falls under that category. There's some really good aspects to it, but as a former player I worry about the proposition of relying on Sabermetrics alone to predict a player's future performance. The system is definitely helpful and useful in a lot of ways, but I believe math alone can never fully quantify a player's value. But again, it's a system that I believe has helped and improved the game.
Reddit: What was your role in that Braves-Padres brawl?
Murphy: Unofficial referee.
On baseball's worst hitter:
Reddit: Hi Dale, what's your over/under on how many more seasons before Justin Verlander gets his first hit in the majors?
Murphy: Over/Under is probably 4. Take the over.
Reddit: Who are some of your favorite artists and what was your walk out song when you bat?
Murphy: Walk-out songs weren't really around when I was playing, but if I were playing today it would probably be "Daft Punk is Playing at my House" by LCD Soundsystem. Not sure why, but that song gets me pumped!
Sharing probably the tamest Lenny Dykstra story he's got:
Reddit: What did you think of playing with Lenny Dykstra while in Philly? Ever party with him? Any wild stories to share?
Murphy: I really enjoyed playing with Lenny. We actually lockered next to each other, so I got my daily dose of Lenny every time I went to work.
Random Lenny memory: I once saw him dip a towel in his cup of coffee and proceed to clean his cleats with it.
On signing bruises:
Reddit: As a personal hero to many, do you have a favorite memory of an interaction with one of your fans?
Murphy: In AAA ball in Richmond, I fouled a ball off and it hit a guy in the arm. Afterward, he had me sign the bruise.
The best part of calling baseball games is the candy:
Reddit: [D]o you enjoy calling games with Chip and Joe for SportsSouth?
Murphy: Always a good time with Chip and Joe! They're real pros and they helped me out a lot as a rookie broadcaster. The best part is when Joe goes down to the clubhouse and comes back with bags of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for between-inning snacking.
Reddit: [H]ow did it take so long to figure out that the one guy was posing as an ex-Brave last year on alumni weekend? Thanks, you are the man.
Murphy: Nobody knew he was posing as John Sullivan, our ex-coach. I just figured he was a sponsor of some kind, not necessarily an imposter.
Posting links to BuzzFeed, just like everyone:
Reddit: How do you feel about all the attention that Mormonism has been getting in the press lately?
Murphy: It's been a really interesting year to be a Mormon. Some of the attention isn't great, of course. But I feel like it was generally positive attention and it's resulted in a strange but exciting time for church members. I'll let Buzzfeed help me out in explaining why this year was so interesting to us:
Murphy doesn't know how he ended up on the Rockies:
Reddit: I wanted to know your initial reaction when you were selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft in 1992.
Murphy: I thought I got traded by the Phillies at the end of Spring Training...I might have to google that.
On Phil Niekro putting boogers on the ball:
Reddit: What was the funniest conversation you've had while standing on base.
Murphy: Not exactly while I was on base, but instead it was while I was catching a game for Phil Niekro and Bill Buckner was hitting. Phil threw one of his best knuckleballs of the game and Buckner swung and missed. Buckner immediately turned to the umpire and said "Check that ball. Think I saw a booger on it".
There's more—what does Dale Murphy think about violent video games, and why was he asked? Why does one fan keep his autographed bat in a sock? Does John Kruk stash a cheeseburger in his back pocket? —so check it out.