Just when we thought we knew everything about Trea Turner, we learned more as he was interviewed by Casey Stern and Jonny Gomes on the MLB Network radio channel on Sirius/XM. We learned about how Trea and his girlfriend and another couple spent New Years in New York City just being foodies and hanging out. We learned about his family tradition on Christmas of doing a scavenger hunt akin to the TV show The Amazing Race which included a sardine eating challenge. We also learned that if he could choose between two different color eyes (like Max Scherzer) or growing a Jayson Werth type beard that he preferred Jayson’s beard as Trea admitted that he was follically challenged in the facial area.
On the baseball side, we were shocked to learn that Trea Turner has been given the ‘red light’ by his base coach meaning he was told not to steal to which Jonny Gomes responded that any player who runs a 6.3 (or faster) should never be given the red light, but Trea Turner made it clear that scoring runs is what it is all about. Trea not only understands his role—he embraces it, and he is unselfish about it in a ‘team first’ mindset. Whether Turner is disrupting the timing of the pitcher or opening up holes in the infield while being held on 1st base, he is helping his team in ways that never show up in the box scores.
“[Dusty Baker] makes everything fun,” Trea Turner said on how Dusty Baker manages for the long season. “[Dusty] wants to win more than anybody, but at the same time you are going through a long season. You need to have fun, and you need to enjoy it— need to embrace everything. I think he makes it a little easier making everything loose, but making sure we get our work done and keeping focus.”
On post-season baseball, you could understand the impact that it had on the players as to the energy level as well as the importance of every at-bat.
“When you get to the post-season [the fans] are on their feet from pitch one,” Turner said. “That energy. That indescribable feeling. It’s electric. It’s fun.”
Speed was discussed several times in the interview including the beginnings of when Trea kind of figured he was faster than everyone else, and his speed could be a key tool.
“I was always small growing up so I was kind of behind people who were bigger, faster, stronger than me,” Trea Turner said. “I was always fast for my size. I got faster each year in High School. I ran the 60 yard dash on a track and ran a 6.3 or something like that [in High School]. That’s by far the fastest I ever ran at the time, and I was shocked. I didn’t know I had that in me. My coaches were shocked as well, and they made me keep running it over and over again and kept getting the same time. Then I kind of realized that I had a chance to use that speed, but it is also a matter of using it in a game because sometimes it doesn’t translate, and I wanted to make sure it translated.”
It also helps to have the best baserunning coach in the game with your team, and Trea Turner and his teammates have Davey Lopes as their baserunning and first base coach.
“Davey [Lopes] sees stuff that nobody else sees,” Trea Turner said. “I will get on first base, he will tell me the [pitcher] is doing this or that. I will look for it, and I can’t see it. He has that experience. Any little movement no matter how small, he can figure it out, and having those conversations with [Davey Lopes] and learning from him will benefit me in that area. He may not be teaching anything revolutionary but if he just describes something a different way than I have heard before and if that clicks with me or my teammates or whoever he’s teaching, that goes a long way.”
“Speed is huge in the game because you don’t see it much now like you did 50 years ago. A lot of people are in love with the Home Run which is fair, but I think speed impacts both sides of the ball, impacts baserunning obviously, impacts the other pitchers, and puts pressure on the other team. I think the more speed we have the better. I think Adam Eaton is going to be a big big key for us if we want to win a World Series.”
It was also interesting to get some insight from Trea Turner’s perspective into his teammate Daniel Murphy who is tighter than a drum when talking about his routine and how he goes about his business.
“It’s unbelievable,” Trea Turner said about being around Daniel Murphy. “[Daniel Murphy is] 24/7 and he’s always trying to improve, talk about baseball, talk about hitting. He loves it. Those are the types of guys you want to play with because it’s a long season and he wants to win each and every game each and every rep. It’s impressive watching him prepare. I remember in Spring Training last year when I first met him I was watching him go through his drills in the cage and I was like ‘What the heck is he doing?’ He was doing a bunch of weird stuff that I had never seen before and putting a lot of emphasis on it and different things. Then you go out and watch him have his at-bats, and he knows exactly what he is trying to do, and he executes it. It was no surprise to me that he had that [great] year and will continue to have those years because he is that good at preparing, and he is so knowledgeable what he wants to do that he makes it easy on himself.”
You could feel the maturity level of Trea Turner in this interview, and also get a sense of how humble he is. Trea had many chances to brag, and he did not. Jonny Gomes did most of the bragging for him.