Derek Jeter on his contract negotiations: “It was not an enjoyable experience”

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The Yankees had a press conference to officially announce Derek Jeter’s new contract today. Except it wasn’t here in Orlando where every Yankees official and the entire New York Yankees press corps happens to be. It was in Tampa, where Derek Jeter happens to live. Seems he wasn’t keene on coming here, so everyone had to schlep it down Interstate 4 to see The Captain.  Team player, you see.

The press conference was generally uneventful, but Jeter did have a couple of pointed words:

“The thing that probably bothered me the most was how public this became. … It was not an enjoyable experience. … I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t angry about how some of this went.”

He walked it back a bit after that, talking about how everyone is one big happy family, but it’s pretty clear he was annoyed.

Moshe Mandel of TYU has the best take I’ve seen on all of this, in which he says that Jeter and the Yankees should just view this all like an arbitration. People say stuff in an arbitration. Then it’s over.  Makes sense to me.

Well, maybe that’s the second best take. The best came from Twitter’s Old Hoss Radbourn:

Unlike D. Jeter, Hoss would never be angry if someone publicly announced they were going to overpay me.

Sometimes it takes the ghost of a 19th century pitcher/Union soldier/absinthe abuser to give us the best perspective on things, ya know?

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.