Paul Lo Duca calls Mets catchers “schmucks” and calls Omar Minaya an “idiot”

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Former Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca is a Brooklyn guy with a lot of attitude so he’s naturally called on by talk radio guys when something pithy is required. He definitely delivered with WFAN hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts this afternoon when asked to talk about the state of the Mets.

He was critical of Mets catchers saying “I could hit better left-handed than the schmucks they’ve got there now.” He also called former Mets GM Omar Minaya an “idiot” and mocked Citi Field’s dimensions and/or David Wright, saying “your franchise player is a hitting star who has four home runs!”

Maybe Lo Duca could hit better than the Mets catchers, but maybe that’s because he was juiced up to the gills for most of his career. And maybe Omar Minaya was an idiot, but I don’t think he ever did anything as dumb as pay his drug dealer with a personal check and then write the same drug dealer a personal note on team letterhead about, man, sorry that the check I wrote you was returned! Or, say, cheat on his wife with a teenaged mistress and then pose for pictures with her when he’s trying to be on the down low about it.

But I guess he really stuck it to those schmucks and idiots on the Mets, huh?

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.