Homer Simpson to be inducted to the Hall of Fame

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Well, sorta.

Monday marked the 25th anniversary of “Homer at the Bat,” the famous episode of “The Simpsons” featuring Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey Jr., Ozzie Smith and a bunch of other of 1992’s biggest baseball stars — and Mike Scioscia — playing as ringers for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant’s softball team. It’s a great episode which almost any baseball fan has enjoyed if he or she has seen it.

Now it is being honored by the Hall of Fame:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will pay tribute to THE SIMPSONS’ place in American culture by honoring “Homer at the Bat” on Saturday, May 27. Boggs and Smith, who were portrayed in the unforgettable episode that featured Homer Simpson winning the championship softball game for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant with a walk-off hit-by-pitch, will join in a roundtable discussion from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. outside the Library entrance to the Hall of Fame in Cooper Park. The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will feature the episode’s executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin, and casting director Bonnie Pietila.

During the roundtable, Homer will be “inducted” into the Hall of Fame and a Simpsons-themed exhibit will go on display in the Museum.

Oh, and it’s definitely Pitt the Elder.

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.