Bud puts the brakes on the Pete Rose reinstatement talk

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All of that fun we had the other day with Pete Rose seems to have petered out, as Bud Selig is now telling people that he’s not going to pardon the hit king. The Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy thinks that someone got played:

I can sniff exactly what happened. It has happened to me. I wrote a
story once and the next day Commissioner Selig was on the phone
personally, straightening me out.

Madden is a close friend of mine and I respect him immensely. He is
on the writers ballot for the Spink Award and Hall of Fame induction
next year. He attends the Hall of Fame ceremonies every year and talks
to all the Hall of Famers.

Somebody steered him wrong. I noticed there were no quotes from
Selig on the story that he is considering Rose’s reinstatement. Madden
talked about Hank Aaron backing Rose, along with Joe Morgan and Frank
Robinson. Somebody spoon-fed him false information – maybe even some of
Rose’s people, who have been known to do that.

Anyway, I suspect Selig called Madden on Monday and set the record straight.

Isn’t just as likely — and in total keeping with his past habits —
that Bud Selig was sending up a trial balloon to see how a
reinstatement would play? And that, given what, from where I’m sitting
anyway, looks like a decidedly anti-reinstatement sentiment, decided to
walk it back?

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.