Out-of-jurisdiction, off-duty cops no longer allowed to bring their guns to Turner Field

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In other news, out-of-jurisdiction, off-duty cops were allowed to bring their guns into Turner Field before now:

The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.  Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.

 

Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins tells WSB-TV that the policy change will make the ball games less safe, adding that “armed good guys stop armed bad guys.”

If you’re an off-duty cop from Atlanta or the Fulton County Sheriffs Department, you can still bring your weapon. It’s only the guys from out of town, who are not even in a jurisdiction in which they can reasonably be expected to be called into action, who can’t bring them in anymore.

Beginning in 2015 all major league ballparks will have metal detectors. Every park has security and police present on-site. Reggie Jackson has long been retired. To my knowledge, there has never been an incident in which a fan was required to use a firearm to protect other fans from violence or crime inside a stadium (if I’m wrong about that, please let me know).

The upshot: relying on a police officer who has traveled from wherever he lives for a night of leisure at the ballpark to spring into action may not be quite the pressing issue Chief Perkins makes it out to be. But I’m sure some of you will tell me how I’m wrong about that.

*Note: the pic is Glen Ford shooting the psycho on the field in Candlestick Park in the awesome movie “Experiment in Terror.” Ford played a San Francisco cop, so he was still in his bailiwick. 

 

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.