Skip to content

‘I’m honest with myself, I’ve sucked,’ Trea Turner on slump to start season

‘I’m honest with myself, I’ve sucked,’ Turner on slump to start season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

When Charlie Manuel was the Phillies manager through five consecutive division titles that encompassed two pennants and a world championship, he had a bat rack full of pithy sayings to fit every occasion.

One of his favorites: Know thyself.

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner subscribes to that philosophy. He is well aware that, in his first two months in red pinstripes, he has not performed as well as the organization and its diehard fans expected after he signed that 11-year, $300 free agent million contract.

He’s heard the boos and the insults from the blue seats. And there’s something he’d like the people to understand.

“I’m honest with myself. I’ve sucked,” he said after the Phils fell to the Diamondbacks, 6-3, Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

“But every at bat, every play, every game is another day to try to do better. To try to be the player that I know I am. If you harp on yesterday or harp on the last at bat, it’s just going to snowball on you and you’re not going to be able to turn it around. I don’t lie to myself. I think I’m a positive guy. I think I can always do better and always can be better. That’s the kind of attitude I have. But at the same time I know when I don’t do something right.”

It’s unusual for a player who went 1-for-4 with a walk to step before the backdrop in the middle of the clubhouse where the Phillies starting pitchers and stars of the game usually stand for the postgame interviews.

But Turner did it Monday night because he singled in a run in the seventh inning and because he doubled on Sunday afternoon and maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to come out of a slump that had him hitting .209 in his last 26 games going into the Diamondbacks series with 37 strikeouts in 110 at bats.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course. Manager Rob Thompson raved about his first at bats both Sunday and Monday, even though he whiffed both times, choosing to focus on how many pitches he’d seen.

Turner had a somewhat more jaundiced view.

“You want to think positively and you lean on (the good) at bats,” he said. “But at the same time, my first three at bats (Sunday) and (Monday) were kind of brutal for the most part. It’s just that consistency. If I think I can do that for four or five at bats in a day, then for a week and a month and then I’ll feel a little bit better and more satisfied. But you just have to battle.

“I ended the game well but tomorrow’s a new day and you have to do it all over again.

“I feel like it’s all decision-making. The swing’s felt pretty good now for two, three weeks. But the decision-making is pretty hit-or-miss. I feel like when you’re going well you really don’t think about any of those things. You’re just kind of hitting and reacting. I feel like at times in those last couple at bats it just felt like that. Not thinking about anything else other than seeing the baseball. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. It’s that rhythm at the plate that every one of us is looking for. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. So there are a lot of positives from that.”