Justin Turner Disagrees With Assessment Dodgers Didn’t Have ‘Fun’

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers had one of the most talented rosters in recent memory and won a franchise-record 111 games, their postseason run ended after just four games, which brought up questions of why the team failed when it mattered most.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes the early exit was an “organizational failure,” but also attributed some of the failure to the unpredictability of October baseball. Some looked to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as the reason for the playoff loss, but Friedman also reiterated his support for the skipper.

Others noticed the lack of energy and emotion from the team throughout the season and into the playoffs, and that view was shared by a rival National League scout, who was “shocked at how boring” they were as a team.

However, Justin Turner doesn’t agree with the assessment that the Dodgers didn’t have fun while they were playing, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:

“I don’t know if that’s right. The facts are we didn’t really hit and score a lot of runs. Baseball is always perceived as more fun when the offense is clicking. Those big two-out hits, those two-out RBIs, those are momentum builders. When you’re not getting those, it’s hard to create that fun or that energy internally.

“Especially when you’re playing on the road. I don’t know that we weren’t having fun. We had a great group of guys, we had a really close group of guys that enjoyed being around each other and whatnot, but the perception always is that, ‘Oh, the team is not having fun. They’re playing tight,’ or whatever it is when you’re not scoring runs.”

The main criticism of the lack of fun stems from the Dodgers’ all-business and professional approach, compared to teams such as the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners, who celebrated and constantly showed their emotion.

The Dodgers did create a few different celebrations from their head tap to the hang loose sign and their pepper-grinding motion throughout the season, but they were only featured after a big moment and didn’t bring much life to the team.

In previous seasons, the team had players such as Yasiel Puig, Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson who always played with emotion and helped spark the team, but outside of Hanser Alberto, who was mostly on the bench, the Dodgers did not have that type of player.

Justin Turner hopes to finish career with Dodgers

The Dodgers declined their team option on Turner for the 2023 season and instead paid the $2 million buyout that made him a free agent.

Turner has said multiple times that he hopes to return to the Dodgers, and he recently reiterated his desire to finish his career in L.A.

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