“Insane, Insane Again”: Justin Turner, Outfielder

“I have seen with madhouse vision

No conclusions can be drawn

My mind is inside out and all the clarity is gone.”

J. Geils Band, “Insane, Insane Again”

One of my fun early baseball memories was watching Willie McCovey play leftfield for the Giants. As a leftfielder McCovey was, well, interesting. Every fly ball was an adventure. Willie was clearly playing out of position. But here’s the thing, in 1963 McCovey had a .977 neutral OPS, and the guy playing his natural position, Orlando Cepeda, had a .984 neutral OPS. So those are bats that you find a way to fit into your lineup, someway, somehow. Oh, and this guy named Willie Mays playing centerfield helped cover with the defensive shortcomings some.

I was thinking about all this earlier last month, including my close-to-fifty-year-old daydream (how bad must have Cepeda been in the outfield that they went with McCovey?), because Terry Collins mentioned how it would be nice if Justin Turner could play the outfield as another way to get him in the lineup. This is the second time he has brought this up, having also said it on August 16th.

THAT’s the problem?  We are not getting Justin Turner enough at bats?  Oh boy.

Justin Turner’s lifetime OPS is .678. We must be able to find outfielders who can hit better than that! As proof I looked up our latest dumpster diving signing, Andrew Brown. Andrew Brown is no good. Andrew Brown is never going to be any kind of answer for anyone. And Andrew Brown had an OPS of .730 last year, as he

(a) can breathe,


(b) is an outfielder.

And then, again, going back in my thinking to try to understand the present, it hit me that I already felt this way once before — when we decided we needed to play Luis Lopez in the outfield to get his bat in the lineup. If you don’t remember him, good for you.


Remember him? I have his photograph on the mantelpiece. He once had the good sense to beat up Rey Ordonez on the team bus. I’ll always respect him for that. Carry on, I can see you’re on a roll.


Luis was a very weak-hitting utility infielder with an okay glove, who we trotted out to the outfield nine times in 1998. He was kind of like the Justin Turner of his time except he had an okay glove. And in Lopez’s case, I can sort of understand how it happened because Bobby V. was the manager and he was always half crazy to start with. He also had to watch one hundred Rich Becker at bats that year. That would get to anyone.

And so I find solace, maybe this will never happen, maybe Terry is just a little fried.  It’s been a long two years. Unless it actually happens I’ll chalk it up to temporary insanity. I’ll sum this up with one more quote:

“Glancing over quickly at the words from brain to pen

All that I can tell you, I’m insane, insane again

Bending over backwards in a rush to comprehend

Help me, help me, mama, I’m insane, insane again.”

J. Geils Band, “Insane, Insane Again”

The offseason is getting to all of us.

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  1. Great post, Mike, I love the McCovey angle. As you know, I’m a huge Peter Wolf fan and I’ve come to appreciate early-years J.Geils. But that song? The 80’s were a confusing time for a lot of bands, that’s all I can say about that.

    • Michael Geus says:

      Yes, it is an understatement to say I do them an injustice to use that track. Worse the album it was from, Freeze Frame, was their most successful commercially, as the 80’s were strange indeed. After that they broke up and now for 25 years the only songs of theirs that gets played on Classic Rock stations are the ones from the 80’s that are no good. Many stories like that, of course, they are just one.

  2. Maybe the Mets can hold an open tryout for outfielders before pitchers and fathers report. “Put me in coach….I’m ready to play….today!”

    Boy the Mets really know how to turn off a fan base! I am betting there are going to be plenty of seats available for every game. I bet some nights the amount of crickets will rival the amount of fans.

    Spring training tickets go on sale Sat at 10:00 AM. I will not be going down to PSL to get tickets and enjoy the party they usually throw.

    I hate to say it, but I am just not feeling it for this 2013 Mets team.

    Well at least there will be the warm sun, cold beer at the Tiki Bar and the hot chicks in their short shorts to keep me occupied.

    What time does the game start?

    • I don’t feel as negative as you do, Rich. But that’s like saying I’m not as wet as a flounder.

      I was encouraged by the trade for d’Arnaud. Think signing Wright was necessary, or at the worst, defensible. And I’m encouraged by some of the pitching prospects in system. We’ll see Wheeler by June and I think he’s the real deal. If Alderson can pull off a trade — one more young guy who can contribute in 2013 and beyond, a hitter, an outfielder — than I think we can see this as a successful winter. 2013 likely won’t be pretty, but I think it’s more important what the roster looks like in August than in April. I really want to see us add a real player this year, somewhere along the line. Then another hitter next winter. Up here in Albany, NY, it’s a gray day. I’d love to catch a few games down in Spring Training. Win or lose, how bad can that be?

      But again, the offer stands: Any time you want to PINCH HIT on the blog for a GUEST POST, we’d love to see it. Go to a game, take a few snaps, write up what you see and feel. We’d love it. Write to us at talkingmets@aol.com and we’ll work out the payment (it’ll be quick, as there is no payment). Cheers, and thanks always for reading and contributing to the discussion.

  3. Ken H. says:

    Frankly, for entertainment purposes, I’m fine with Terrry and Sandy putting whomever they want in the outfield in 2013 so long as all the should-be-minor-leaguers are discarded before the 2014 season. Since 2013 is already a write-off season, we can put a tent over Citi Field and three rings on the diamond. Who knows…could result in some kind of home field advantage…

  4. […] some comments from TC this morning. I was glad to see even Terry realizes that it’s batshit crazy to expect Justin Turner to play a credible outfield. It’s ludicrous. I mean, Lagares? […]

  5. […] things we can talk about today. On Thursday it appeared Terry was finally going to succumb to his innermost demons and play Turner in left, but the weather saved him. On Friday we all awoke feeling safe and […]

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