Last I checked, players in the Major Leagues who are batting .315 and adapting to a new position in the field are baseball players. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure they are.
This, of course, makes me wonder why the Nationals' color commentators are saying Daniel Murphy isn't one, considering he fits all of the above criteria. He's made a few errors at second base, yes, but he's developing his instincts there on the fly. The Nats' commentators apparently are stuck on his slow reaction time getting to the bag in the game last night after Jason Bay dropped a fly ball. They keep bringing it up. And here's the thing - yes, players make errors. But the Nationals lost the game last night, namely because Daniel Murphy tied the game with a homer and later helped overcome a 3-2 Nationals lead with a clutch double that drove in two in the 8th. In fact, although that 3-2 lead came as an indirect result of his slow reaction time to the bag, Murphy redeemed himself and helped permanently put the Mets in front.
There are lots of baseball players who make errors. I highly doubt we'd hear these men suggest shortstop Ian Desmond isn't a baseball player even though he's notably error-prone. We can't use just one error here to determine whether or not someone is a ballplayer. In addition, Murphy has a reputation for being a pretty clutch hitter. I wouldn't go around saying someone in the Majors who comes through in the clutch isn't a ballplayer. I just don't think it makes sense to say, "Oh, so-and-so's instincts aren't so good at that position. As talented as he is, he's not a baseball player." If someone's worked extremely hard, traveled all over the country on uncomfortable buses for hours on end, spent prolonged time away from loved ones, and developed the skills they needed to work their way all the way up to the top, they've earned the right to be called a Major League Baseball player. If you've made those sacrifices and you're succeeding in MLB, you're a baseball player, whether you're Dustin Pedroia or Albert Pujols.
And honestly? Daniel Murphy's succeeding. Therefore, Daniel Murphy is a baseball player. Don't tell me otherwise.
We now return to your regularly scheduled Minor League coverage.
Photo of Daniel Murphy by me, because I got a new Nikon Coolpix P500 for my birthday and tested it out at the Mets game on Tuesday night in Washington. Murph was 2-5.