Justin Turner sounded dour after returning to the Dodgers.
Returning to the World Series champs on a lucrative $34 million contract (according to reports) should have just about anyone in high spirits, but Turner feels like he’s got unfinished business to take care of in 2021.
The slugger was embroiled in controversy during Game 6 of the Fall Classic against the Tampa Bay Rays last October after being removed in the eighth inning due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The Dodgers won the game (and the World Series) a few outs later, and Turner didn’t get to truly celebrate with his his teammates … though he did in some capacity, which was viewed unpleasantly.
Apparently he’s still hung up on not getting the genuine experience based on what he told reporters this week.
That is … depressing. We know he’s not directly doing this, but comparing that victory and experience (in any capacity) to losing to the Houston Astros in heartbreaking fashion or getting romped by the Boston Red Sox in back-to-back years feels very wrong. The Dodgers triumphed after a 32-year drought. Come on.
The collective world just experienced one of the hardest and most trying years in a lifetime. Let’s try and put this stuff in perspective. Turner is a world champion and will make over $94 million over his career once this contract is over. Life is pretty good, even sans celebration.
But if there’s any positivity to be extracted from this, it’s the fact the 36-year-old is as motivated as ever to go out there in 2021 and help the Dodgers repeat as champs because he so desires to experience the euphoria from recording the final out of the World Series.
Throw that in with the Trevor Bauer signing, which makes the rotation nearly unstoppable, and the Dodgers could be the first back-to-back champions in over two decades.
Nonetheless, in some respect, we’re glad Turner is turning all of this into some sort of fuel, but man, with so much hype and promise surrounding the Dodgers heading into spring training after a championship season, he really dampened the mood with these comments.
All the more reason to capture title No. 8, right?