Tea Partiers to file a lawsuit to block the Braves move to Cobb County within ten days

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WSB News in Atlanta has learned that a group called the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots are going to sue the Cobb County Commission within ten days in an effort to block the expenditure of taxpayer dollars for the Braves new ballpark. The idea, the Tea Party Patriots, say, is that it’s illegal for public money to go into a private enterprise in the way Cobb County is doing it.

Eh. To the extent that there are all kinds of fun rules and laws that dictate how public dollars can be spent, I won’t say that there’s nothing at all to this lawsuit. There’s a good chance that some “i” wasn’t dotted and some “t” wasn’t crossed when the commission vote happened a few weeks back. Maybe this lasts a while in some annoying way.

But the idea that it will actually stop or even delay the Braves move to Cobb County is pretty unlikely. Procedure is one thing and it’s one thing that can be remedied, especially as early on as this project is. But it is not illegal for governments to spend money for ballparks. Even if it is dumb. My guess is that this goes pretty much nowhere in the long run.

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.