When the Mets inexplicably released Justin Turner over the winter, word “leaked” from the front office that it was because Turner did not hustle. That was a shock to anyone who ever watched him play. But now Turner is fighting back.
In an interview Monday with Howard Megdal, Turner did not address those ridiculous allegations, but he was mystified about the Mets continued habit of knocking a player on his way out the door.
“I don’t have that answer for you,” Turner said. “I’ve been there for three years. All I can do is say if I was running an organization, in charge of it, I would look at all my players as assets, and want to build them up. So even if I didn’t want them to be on my team, they would have value. But for some reason, I don’t know, that’s not the thought process over there.”
It’s not even former players being criticized. The Mets are saying bad things about current shortstop Ruben Tejada, which has not escaped Turner’s attention.
“I think the issue is that nobody takes responsibility for what they say,” Turner said. “You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks. It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”
Turner is right. There really is no reason why the Mets trash their former players, let alone their current ones. Perhaps they want to assure fans that the player they got rid of was no good, anyway. But it really has to stop.
The Dodgers scooped up Justin Turner and after a solid spring they told him Monday that he made the Opening Day roster. He said he is happy with the Dodgers as well as with the Los Angeles media.
“So far here, I’ve only done stories about baseball stuff,” Turner said. “In New York, it doesn’t matter what it is, everything’s a story, and they want to know everything about it. It turns into a big ordeal. Stuff that doesn’t even matter.”
Regardless of what the Mets say, Justin Turner played hard in his time in New York and Mets fans likely will give him a nice ovation when he returns to Citi Field.