So I guess this whole Mets-Walter Reed Hospital thing isn't going to die

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If only the people who work for the Mets got as bent out of shape about the team sucking as they do these silly little controversies . . .

Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez can add a missed visit to a military hospital to the Mets’ laundry list of issues with them.

According to a clubhouse source, COO Jeff Wilpon wasn’t happy that the trio of underachievers skipped the team’s visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Tuesday . . . The absence of Beltran, Castillo and Perez raised some eyebrows within the organization . . .

I’d love to have a list of the players from other teams who didn’t make the trip to Walter Reed, because I’m guessing (a) there’s a healthy number of them; and (b) no one ever made a fuss about it. For that matter, I’d love to see the names of U.S. players who visited Canadian veterans during series with the Blue Jays (Perez and Castillo aren’t from the U.S., after all).

Not that those guys have totally distinguished themselves here. Beltran explains in the article that he had a meeting regarding his own charitable foundation that conflicted with the Reed visit, so that’s cool. Perez wouldn’t comment. Castillo, however, probably would have been better not commenting himself:

“I
don’t like to see people like that, so I never go there,” Castillo
said. “Sometimes you see people with no legs, no arms. I don’t like to
see that.”

Um, yeah.  Hey, here’s an idea: why don’t we just end this by agreeing that Castillo is kind of a jerk but that it’s otherwise a non-issue?

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.