An update on the redesign

28 Comments

OK, the changeover to the redesign did not go 100% according to plan.  But I assure you, we’re now only leaking, like, 5,000 barrels a day and we’ve sprayed chemical dispersants all around the affected area. We’ll be sunning ourselves on Mississippi beaches in no time.

Once again, apologies for the glitches earlier today.  As I mentioned on Twitter and in the comments, HBT is NOT becoming a registration site. That was a technical issue that, for reasons that aren’t terribly important to go over, wasn’t apparent until we actually went live.  It should be fixed now, but by all means, drop us a line (note the fancy “tips/feedback” button in the upper right) if you see any other problems.  Other matters:

While we will not be going to registration for reading the site we are going to keep with registration for comments.  This is something we should have hipped you to earlier, I confess, and I apologize for not doing so.  It’s something we do with great reluctance, but we’ve had enough issues with spam, impersonators and the like to where it’s really our only option.  Frankly, I can’t think of many blogs that don’t have comment registration these days, so such a move was probably inevitable. I think we’ll survive.

The comments will soon be back to oldest first, newest last.  The reverse chronological order thing was a function of solar winds, swamp gas and stuff like that.

The “search” field will return to the upper right soon as well.  To be honest, I have no idea how many of you actually use that, but it’s a pretty good site-searcher as far as those things go. I use it all the time so that I may more easily plagiarize myself.

People still continue to hate the click-throughs even lo these many hours later.  I understand it. I hope you understand why we’re doing it (if not, click here and read my explanation).  One thing I might ask of you to help make it a little more bearable is to give me your opinion:  do you prefer it if we tease the story a bit in the little field on the front page, or would you prefer the first few sentences of the post to appear like I did on this one?

I confess, I kind of like the tease because it gives me yet another opportunity to be snarky throughout the day, but I can see how that might be annoying too.  I think that, regardless of what you say, I’ll probably tease longish posts like And That Happened, but I do want to know what you think. And yes, I understand that you’d like no click-throughs to begin with. I want my hair back too, but it’s just not really in the cards.

That’s all I got right now.  Please keep the criticism coming (hopefully of the constructive variety).  We want to continue to make HBT your number one baseball destination, so if we’re totally wigging out on you, please let us know.   

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
5 Comments

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.