Jose Canseco is going to write a third book

13 Comments

I’d probably mock this a bit more if Snooki, JWoww and The Situation hadn’t already gotten book deals. I mean, those guys make Canseco seem like F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Unlike in 2005 and 2008 – when his books “Juiced” and “Vindicated” named baseball stars in the same sentence with PED use – Canseco, who has recently taken to Twitter to his spread his message and pitch his wares, says book No. 3 will be an honest look at how telling the truth cost him his livelihood.

“Basically the name of the book is, ‘The Truth Hurts.’ It destroyed my life,” Canseco told the Daily News Tuesday. “It’s completely accurate, of course. I only write books that depict truthful things.”

I feel bad that Jose Canseco is miserable, but really, what did he think would happen when he decided to expose Major League Baseball and so many of its marquee stars?  That they’d embrace him and give him a job and stuff?  Jose Canseco complaining about being blackballed and financially ruined by baseball  is like Upton Sinclair complaining about how he can’t get that gig down at the meatpacking plant.

In a perfect world, the messenger is never killed. But we don’t live in a perfect world. And Canseco doesn’t live in the real world.

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.