Kirk Gibson thinks Melky Cabrera got off easy

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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com shared an interesting scene from the Diamondbacks clubhouse, where manager Kirk Gibson learned about Melky Cabrera’s suspension for testosterone and told reporters that the Giants outfielder got off easy with a 50-game ban:

He’s had a huge impact against us. My understanding is he admitted to taking it and knew what he took and that’s just not right. If you do something like that, in my mind, it should be much more severe. Part of me says that, enough already. We’ve made a commitment to stopping that kind of activity and we still from time to time find that people are still trying to fool the system.

Maybe they should consider a much stricter penalty. It’s just bull. I would say the majority of the people who are in this game care about the integrity of the game. We’re all committed to that and cleaning it up. Obviously there’s not a big enough deterrent if it continues so I think the penalty needs to be much more severe.

Gibson told Gilbert that he’d be in favor of a one-year suspension, followed by a lifetime ban for a second positive test.

And he’s right about Cabrera having “a huge impact against us.” He hit .452 with two homers and three doubles in eight games versus Arizona this season. Oh, and Cabrera’s second-place team is five games ahead of Gibson’s third-place team in the NL West standings.

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.