Murphy's broadcasts were known for his optimistic outlook. He would rarely be critical of players and would always strive to emphasize the positive. According to Gary Thorne, who was his partner in the Mets radio booth from 1985 to 1988, Murphy felt that, "the game was to be enjoyed and he sought out the joy in that day's game to bring to the fans."
Murphy, despite his long association with the Mets, never openly rooted for the team from the booth. Listeners knew that he was happier when the Mets won, as evidenced by his mention of a "happy recap" after a Mets win and a "recap" after a Mets loss, but he never referred to the Mets as "we" and, reflecting his love of the game, he would sound equally excited when a good play was made against the Mets as he would when the Mets made a similar play.
Because he was so well known for his sunny outlook, an unprecedented display of crankiness on his part received much attention. On July 25, 1990 in Philadelphia, the Mets took a 10-3 lead into the ninth inning, but rival Phillies opened the inning with seven consecutive singles, followed by a walk, and scored six runs to narrow the Mets lead to one run before the Mets were able to turn a double-play and get a line drive out. Murphy's patience was apparently worn thin by the long inning, and when the game finally ended, he famously exclaimed, "A line drive caught. The game is over. The Mets win it. A line drive to Mario Diaz. And the Mets win the ballgame! They win the damn thing by a score of 10 to 9!" The use of an expletive was so out of character that it was frequently cited as one of his more memorable moments following Murphy's retirement from the booth in 2003 and later when the Mets honored him after his death in 2004.
Murphy occupied the broadcasting booth in every stadium in the National League, including Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, which was named after his brother, Jack, a popular San Diego sportswriter.
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