Famous people are lining up to not own the Mets

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I guess it’s because it’s New York and everyone is bored, but there have been a plethora of reports — and calling them “reports” is actually an insult to the act of reporting — linking famous rich people and the Mets in the wake Wilpon’s announcement that he’s looking for minority owners.  There was the MLK III report. The de riguer Mark Cuban chatter. In recent days we’ve had people asking Mayor Bloomberg and Jerry Seinfeld to state their intentions.

Fun stuff, but we’re not likely to find the next Mets’ minority owner — or maybe majority owner — on the gossip pages.  The people with the kind of money to buy anything other than vanity stakes in major sports franchises are all beyond mere celebrity wealthy, and they’re not the type of people like Mayor Bloomberg — who is legitimately loaded — who live their lives publicly like this.  I mean, look around at baseball’s ownership ranks: most of these guys are people you never heard of before they became baseball owners.

I have some friends who work in finance and big business and they all have tales of big time movers with outrageous amounts of capital at their disposal, either personally or by virtue of being able to wrangle investors.  You haven’t heard of any of them.   Living out loud like big celebrities is anathema to the type of person who is able to conquer the business world. Or inherit their father’s conquests.  These types of people are only remarkable when they prove to be exceptions to this rule, such as the case of Mark Cuban.

The next owner of the Mets is gonna be someone familiar only to those who read every article in the Wall Street Journal.  That’s how big money — truly big money — operates.

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.