Though Justin Turner’s future with the Los Angeles Dodgers hangs in the balance, he’s still so entrenched with the franchise and fanbase that his words resonate almost as strongly as any other current member of the team.
Turner has a $16 million team option for the 2023 season, and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently had no definitive answer on the Dodgers’ plans with their starting third baseman for next year.
It’s unclear what’s going to happen, but Turner is still treating life as if nothing’s changed. He took a little over a week to reflect on the team’s disappointing early postseason exit at the hands of the San Diego Padres and delivered an emotional message to the fans on Monday night.
Turner encapsulated the entire experience for both the Dodgers and their fans over the past decade. He understands more than anybody — especially the pain of the lows. That was the essence of his long-winded Instagram post.
If this truly is the start of a farewell to JT, then he really hit the nail on the head. Is there any better way to put it into words than this?
Justin Turner sent an emotional message to Dodgers fans on Instagram
He even added some humor in there with the “yes, gingers do have souls” comment. That last quote from Scully, though, might be a sign of optimism he may return for 2023? Dodgers fans will take any positivity on that front.
Since arriving in LA back in 2014, Turner has been it all. He entered the season after that tough NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Then they lost two tough NLDS series after that to the Cards and Mets. Then they ran into the World Series champion Cubs. Then the cheating Astros and the unstoppable Red Sox. Then the World Series champion Nationals.
It wasn’t until 2020 the Dodgers finally sat atop the baseball world. But it took a while. Even after that, there’s been a lot left to be desired. The Dodgers have made the playoffs 10 straight years and have won nine division titles over that span. They’ve been to three World Series and six NLCS. They’ve had the best attendance in MLB and know their fans live and die on every pitch.
Outside of Clayton Kershaw, there’s nobody who better understands the emotions and dedication of Dodgers fans. Those two are the longest tenured members on the team.
The sickening part is that there’s a realistic chance both are gone this offseason, which will be a devastating ending to an era of Dodgers baseball that should’ve probably delivered more. And the worst part is that Turner fully gets that.