How does it feel to have fans at Nats Park?
It’s awesome. Last year was weird and I definitely didn’t like it, but having fans back in the stadium right now is amazing. You can feel the energy. As the year goes on, things are just going to get better and better and we can get back to those full stadiums. That’s what helped us win those games in 2019, make that push into the playoffs and win the World Series.
You hit 18 home runs this season and are on pace to set a single-season mark in home runs. Your reaction?
Just having fun. Trying to enjoy each and every day, trying to enjoy my teammates and trying to compete out there. I enjoy what I do— coming to the stadium, coming to the field and taking on that challenge every single day.
As the dad of a five-month-old, what’s harder, MLB or parenting?
Parenting is definitely harder! It’s a learning curve but it’s also a lot of fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m excited for him to keep coming to games and keep growing and getting bigger. It’s going to be fun to watch him go through life.
As one of the best, if not the best shortstop in MLB, any tips for the young players out there?
Work hard and anything is possible. If you work at it, you can get to where I’m at. I was a little kid and always dreamed about [being in the major leagues]. I had to put the work in and it turned out, I got here. So, just have fun, enjoy it and give it all you got.
The team started slow. Is there still firepower in reserve?
Yeah, that’s the roster we have. Obviously, everyone wants to get off to a great start and we haven’t, but we have the talent and the character in the room to put the beginning behind us, and play better as the year goes on, continue to battle and continue to get stronger as a group. There’s a lot of baseball left to compete, win a lot of games and hopefully make that playoff push and get back to where I think we should be: a playoff team and competing for championships.
Pre-or post-game rituals?
I have a routine I try to do consistently in getting warmed up for the game and getting locked in. I get in the hot tub each and every day, stretch and hit and what not.
What do you do on off-days?
I like to relax. I’ll listen to some music. Mostly, I’ve been hanging out with my kid. I’ll play video games or try to go golfing. Maybe go to a dinner and hang out with the family.
Do you have any special baseball grooming tips?
[Laughs]. My wife and I cut my hair, so it’s kind of a mess, but I am wearing a hat most of the time!
Favorite other d.c. sports team?
I like them all, man. It’s fun watching all the sports right now—we’ve won how many championships? Three in the last three years! Mystics, Capitals … and Washington Football team is getting better. It was fun watching them last year. It’s good being a D.C. fan right now and enjoying everybody.
Who is your favorite other non-nationals sports player in Washington?
I like [Antonio] Gibson [running back for the Washington Football Team]. He was on my fantasy team and it was fun watching him play. I also enjoy watching Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook [both of the Washington Wizards]. I try to appreciate everybody but I’m going to go with Gibson.
My Top Spots
Nobu D.C. (2525 M Street NW) “I’m a big sushi fan. It’s one of my favorites.”
Georgetown. “We haven’t been out much [with son Beckham]. But we’re trying to take him [on walks] in the park when we can in the neighborhood.”
Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. A favorite local charity of Turner’s. “Any chance to see the boys and girls and hang out with them for a bit is always fun.”
Nationals Park. “I’m excited to see people in the stadium more and more, and happy that we’re back at full capacity. It’s nice to see people out again.”