Less than a week after watching Max Scherzer dominate in his debut, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally were able to see Trea Turner up close for the first time during this past weekend’s Freeway Series against the L.A. Angels.
The 28-year-old was activated from the COVID-19 injured list on the night of the series opener and made his first appearance with the team as a pinch-hitter later that night.
Turner has started at second base in each of the next five games and regularly displayed his game-changing speed on the basepaths. Turner’s fit has been relatively seamless despite sliding over to second base and being traded during a season for the first time in his career.
“When I was with the Padres, I thought I’d play there 20 years,” Turner began. “And when I was with the Nationals, I thought I’d play there 20 years. I liked the organizations I’ve been part of. I liked the people there. I would’ve loved to stay there.
“These last two weeks have been weird because I’d go back and forth. ‘Oh, they’re not going to trade me. Oh, yup, they are.’ In social media, you read all these things and I was talking to my agents. You’ve kind of got to be prepared for whatever.
“It’s a little bit of a business, and times like this show you why it is a business. I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to join an organization that’s trying to win.
“Yeah, I wanted to play for the Nationals for the rest of my career, but it doesn’t work out like that. Now I’m excited for this next chapter. Change can be good if you embrace it and see opportunity, and I see plenty of that here. I’m excited. It is what it is, and like I said, I wanted to be there but I’m just as excited to be here as I was there.”
Turner, initially unsure what to think of his trade to the Dodgers, began warming up it after talking to Scherzer. “When we got traded over I talked to Max on the phone, and just to hear how excited he was made me feel better as well,” Turner said.
“Because like I said, I didn’t necessarily want to get traded, start all over and move. I felt comfortable where I was at. To hear how excited he was made me feel a little bit better. And I think just seeing some familiar faces is always nice.
“Seeing Treinen and some of the guys I talked to at the All-Star Game, I think helps out a lot. It’s kind of a new day at school, you’re in a new school and trying to learn everything again.
“Learn where the batting cage is, the weight room, learning how things work, and having a familiar face, or two, or three, I think is always good. It definitely helped me out transitioning over here.”
Turner noted he is most thrilled about getting a chance to play for an organization committed to winning the World Series. “One thing that gets me excited is in the next few years we have a great chance to win a championship,” Turner said.
“That’s why we’re here. That’s why each and every guy in the locker room is here, that’s why the coaching staff is here. The organization has made it a priority for a long time now.
“We won in 2019 and these guys won last year. That’s what it’s all about. Guys will trade all sorts of rewards and sacrifice all sorts of things and money, whatever it is, to win a championship. Like I said, I’m excited to be here.”
Turner looking forward to West Coast living
Turner, who was born in Florida and played most of his career on the East Coast to this point, is excited about getting accustomed to the Southern California lifestyle. “They’ve been good for a long time, so I’m excited to come over here and see how they prepare and gameplan for opposing teams,” Turner said.
“I’ve kind of been curious about that. I’ve played for one organization for basically my entire career, so I got used to that. Over here it’s different, and I think it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, learn and grow. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Excited to do that and join these guys.
“As far as city, can’t beat the weather here. I’m excited about the food; food is always fun for me. I always enjoyed playing here. The crowd is unbelievable. Just the atmosphere is really fun. To have them not yelling at me, and yelling for me is going to be nice. It’s going to be fun to play in front of all these fans.”
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