Ron Washington took greenies when he played

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Not that it’s shocking or anything, but he did say so to ESPN’s Pedro Gomez today.

Washington’s cocaine use is obviously big news, but mining the man’s past like this seems of little utility. As Washington notes, “amphetamines were prevalent throughout baseball” during his tenure. More so than even cocaine. I suppose it’s one thing if someone finds out that he used to do lines with Stevie Nicks in the late 70s or something because that would show that he was being less then genuine yesterday, but a ballplayer doing greenies in the 70s and 80s is pretty much dog-bites-man, no?

Best thing from the ESPN article: Nolan Ryan’s description of his reaction:

“I was in total shock. Then I was mad. Then I was very disappointed. I went
through an array of emotions.” But after “a lot of soul-searching” Ryan said the club decided to allow Washington to remain as manager.

Anyone else have a hard time picturing Ryan going through an array of emotions and searching his soul?  I picture him leaning back in a chair, looking intensely and thoughtfully into the distance for approximately ten seconds, and then telling a team of subordinates — who live in mortal fear of the man — how things were gonna be.

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.