Who has it better than Justin Turner?
After a nondescript career with the Mets, he has become a core player for the Dodgers. In other words, he is a star in Tinseltown. That’s what happens when he has hit 71 home runs and knocked in 264 runs in his four years as a Dodger.
He has also become reliable in the postseason, which is a mark of a money player. He has hit five home runs and drove in 24 runs in his playoff appearances as a Dodger.
So it figures he would be the story in his first World Series appearance. He hit a two-run home run off Astros ace Dallas Keuchel in the sixth inning, giving the Dodgers the lead that they would relinquish. His home run was the difference maker in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. This was his fourth home run and his 14th RBI this month, which included a game-winning home run in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
This is some story. There should be a movie on Turner when his career is over.
No one ever thought the Dodgers third baseman would be the star he is right now. Not the Dodgers. Certainly not the Mets. Definitely not him.
Turner was fortunate the Dodgers called for his service. All he was anticipating was being a role player off the bench as he was with the Mets. For whatever it reason, something clicked for him, and the rest is history. His career year this year made him an All-Star.
He credits ex-Met teammate Marlon Byrd for fixing his swing during his time as a Met. He decided to dig in and take his hacks when he would find a pitch that he thinks he can hit. Remember he was being selective in his at-bats as a Met by fouling off pitches.
He thought it was going to be good enough to get by until pitchers figured him out. They still haven’t figured him out. With him doing this for the last four years, it’s safe to say he is the real deal.
It’s easy to blame the Mets for letting Turner walk. The reality is the Dodgers star deserves credit for being persistent in being a Major League ballplayer. He put it in the time at the batting cage being the gym rat he is.
Prospects who struggle to play can learn something from Turner’s success. They have to keep at it and keep figuring it out until teams give up on them. Baseball is a tough sport to play. It requires dedication to the craft and endless hours of thinking.and overanalyzing. There’s nothing more rewarding than having success after enduring struggles.
Rather than burying the Mets for letting Turner go, be happy for him that he has found a niche. It shows why teams shouldn’t hesitate to take a chance in giving a look on a player who have may been a bust in other place. Maybe he could figure it out in his fourth try.
This does not look like it’s going to end anytime soon. Even at 32 years old, the Dodgers All-Star can play at this level for the next four or five years. This is what success can do. It breeds confidence where he can hit anything.
Turner does not ask himself anymore when will it end. He believes in himself to know this is not a fluke anymore. His performance as a Dodger shows he paid his dues as an established Major Leaguer.
He is three wins away from being a World Champion and maybe a World Series MVP. With the way his magic ride has gone, who would actually think that will not happen?
It’s time for the cynics and skeptics to also give up this dream that it’s going to end for Turner Mets fans certainly accepted it whether they like it or not. Even the Mets are done wondering how long it lasts.
There’s something to be said about persistence and hard work. The star of last night’s World Series is a good example of that.
To answer the lede question, no one has it better than Turner. We are living in his world right now.