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#pounditThursday, November 26, 2020

FOX goes overboard with Mookie Betts-LeBron James comparison

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts was a catalyst for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night. The Dodgers right fielder went 2-for-4 with two runs, a walk, and two stolen bases. He also endeared himself to America by scoring them Free Locos Tacos.

Betts’ strong game led to plenty of praise from FOX’s announcers, but they went way overboard late in the game while hyping up the right fielder.

After Betts hit a frozen rope line drive single to left in the bottom of the eighth inning, FOX brought in reporter Ken Rosenthal for some commentary. Rosenthal pointed out how the Boston Red Sox made a mistake in trading Betts to the Dodgers. And then he got carried away.

“This is a transcendent player,” Rosenthal said of Betts. “He’s baseball’s LeBron James. I don’t know that you can ever trade a player like that.”

Buck lauded Betts as a 5-tool player and likable guy.

Criticizing the Red Sox for letting Betts go is one thing, but comparing him to James is another.

James has been the best player in the NBA for about a decade straight. He’s won four championships, four MVPs, and four NBA Finals MVPs.

Betts is not the best player in MLB. He has never been the best player in the league. That honor belongs to Mike Trout, who is MLB’s best player and has been for nearly the last decade, similar to James.

Trout has led the league in on-base percentage four straight years, slugging percentage three times, OPS four times, is a three-time MVP, and 8-time All-Star. He’s made twice as many All-Star teams as Betts despite only being one year older.

Betts is an excellent player. But he’s not Mike Trout, and it’s not even close.

FOX and MLB’s desire to market Betts while he’s having a good game is understandable, but the amount of hyperbole needs to be kept in check and will be called out when it gets excessive.

When you’re talking about the best player in the game, the conversation begins and ends with Trout.

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