Omar Minaya needs to quit or be fired

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If you’re looking for reasons to terminate Omar Minaya’s employment you could parse each and every move the man has made during his tenure. Or you could look at the current product on the field or the Mets’ immediate future and decide whether that justifies the man losing his job.  But let’s make this easy: Omar Minaya said something in today’s USA Today that should have him out on his ear right now:

“It’s not a market where you can go young. You have to bring in players.”

This quote comes after several paragraphs in which Minaya discounts the media circus in New York, saying that you can’t pay any attention to that sort of thing.  This after watching the Yankees build from youth in the early-to-mid 90s and use that to sustain a dynasty unmatched in baseball since their last one fell in the 1960s.

There is no baseball team — I repeat, no baseball team — that can sustain success without developing young, homegrown talent. Sure, some need to do it less than others, but all teams need to do it. Especially a team like the Mets who wouldn’t even be the most desirable landing spot for free agents in their own city if they were able to spend money on free agents going forward. Which they aren’t, according to most reports. While they’re certainly not in need of a fire sale or anything, the Mets have no choice but to go young and bring in kids to fill their many holes, and that was the case before, is the case now and will be the case in the future.

If Minaya thinks that you simply can’t do that because talk radio or someone will crucify him he needs to be let go right now, because building a team is an essential part of his job.  If he’s been told he can’t go young by the Wilpons for those same reasons he needs to quit because they’re setting him up to fail.

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.