Dodgers infielder Justin Turner took to social media on Tuesday for the first time since L.A.’s shocking loss to the Padres in the NLDS 10 days ago. His message was part apology, part thanks, and entirely sincere and heartfelt.
Turner acknowledged the anger, shock, disappointment, and heartbreak Dodger fans felt when the team that won 111 games in the regular season went out with a whimper in the postseason.
“All of your emotion, pain, disappointment, sadness, tears, anger, what the F happened; I feel it all. As a Dodger who has been here for a lot of these endings, I feel like these words won’t ever be enough, and I understand that. There are no excuses, finger pointing or coulda woulda shouldas that will make this go away. For a team that had the season we had, this is gut-wrenching and hard to accept.”
JT goes on to thank Dodger fans for continuing to show up year after year to support the team we love, even mentioning the Padres’ sad tactic of refusing to sell tickets to L.A. fans in the postseason.
“But most of all, thank you for always showing up and showing love to your boys in blue. You all lead attendance at home and on the road again this year and were such a force of a fan base that they blocked our zip codes from buying playoff tickets down South.”
Turner’s apology and thanks are poignant for a couple reasons. For one, he struggled mightily in the postseason, batting just .154 with two singles and three walks in the four games. In Game 4, he came up with runners on second and third and two outs with a chance to put the game out of reach, but he grounded out weakly in his final at-bat of the postseason.
The second reason Turner’s message is so meaningful is that might have been his last at-bat in Dodger blue. Los Angeles has a $16 million team option for 2023, but it’s unclear at this point whether they plan to exercise it. JT has spent nine seasons with his hometown team and is a team leader and an icon in the community; it’s hard to picture him playing anywhere else at this point, but it’s a possibility.
Turner’s message is a good reminder to all of us that the players care deeply about the games and the fans.
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