Details on why Tim Wallach wasn’t allowed to interview with the Blue Jays

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Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com did some digging and uncovered why Tim Wallach agreed to a contract with the Dodgers that allowed him to interview for certain managerial openings (like the Brewers) while prohibiting him from pursuing other jobs (like the Blue Jays):

Wallach was allowed to make those lists himself while negotiating the deal, which the source said was unusually beneficial to Wallach in terms of both length and financial compensation. Because there are so many major league managerial openings this winter … the Dodgers didn’t want Wallach to interview for all of them, presumably because that would have held up their effort to fill their coaching staff.

So Wallach was asked to prioritize those eight clubs based on his level of interest before any of those teams even requested permission to talk to him. It isn’t clear how many teams are on the “can-talk-to” list and how many are on the “can’t-talk-to” list. But the source said the Brewers and Blue Jays are the only teams that requested permission to speak with Wallach.

In other words, if Wallach had been better at predicting which teams would be interested in him as a potential manager he’d have been allowed to talk to the Blue Jays, who’re now upset that the Dodgers denied their interview request.

According to Jackson, if Wallach isn’t hired by the Brewers he’ll remain with the Dodgers, likely as the third base coach on Don Mattingly’s staff. Jackson reports that the current third base coach, Larry Bowa, is not expected back in 2011.

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.