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#pounditThursday, November 26, 2020

Articles tagged: Mookie Betts

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.

Mookie Betts is America’s Free Locos Tacos hero

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts did it again, and America loves him for it.

For the second time in his career, Mookie Betts earned America a free taco from Taco Bell.

The fast food restaurant is running its popular “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion. The first player to steal a base in the World Series earns America a free taco at Taco Bell.

In the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, Betts (then with Boston) stole the first base of the series to earn everyone free tacos. In 2020, Betts did it again.

Betts stole second base in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 1 of the World Series between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. He actually stole third base that inning as well and later scored on a ground ball.

Fans can redeem their free Doritos Locos Tacos at participating Taco Bell locations on Oct. 28 from 2-6 p.m. local time, as supplies last.

Video: Mookie Betts robs Marcell Ozuna with great catch against wall

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts made a great catch to rob Marcell Ozuna of extra bases in Game 6 of the NLCS at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.

The Atlanta Braves were down 3-0 and had a runner on with two outs in the top of the fifth inning against Walker Buehler. Ozuna hit a breaking ball deep to right field. Betts drifted back and timed his leap perfectly to rob Ozuna of a big hit.

What a catch.

The Dodgers have been doing this throughout the postseason. Cody Bellinger in particular has been great with robbing home runs, highlighted by his catch against Fernando Tatis Jr. This time it was Betts making the catch to help keep the Braves off the board.

The Braves entered Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead.

Mookie Betts ready for position switch with Dodgers

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts is preparing to start playing in the infield for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

The Dodgers have the best record in MLB during the shortened season. They also have plenty of versatility among their players. You can add Betts to the list. Though he has played mostly outfield this season, he got the start at second base for the Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

According to Dodgers reporter Bill Plunkett, Betts came to manager Dave Roberts about possibly playing in the field. Betts may have been thinking about possible roster scenarios where the Dodgers would be down players, so he wanted to give options.

Betts was actually drafted as a shortstop and played some infield during the minors. He also played some second base occasionally with the Red Sox.

He may continue to see some infield action throughout the rest of the season to continue giving the Dodgers flexibility.

Alex Verdugo does not like being compared to Mookie Betts

Alex Verdugo is working hard to carve out his own path in Boston.

Addressing the media Friday after a two-homer game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Verdugo, the centerpiece of the Red Sox’s return package for Mookie Betts, said he did not like being compared to the former AL MVP.

“I don’t think about Mookie,” he said, per Brook Smith of Dodgers Nation. “I think he’s a great player, he did a lot for Boston, he’s going to do a lot for the Dodgers. I think about me being here, what I’m going to do, what I’m going to bring to this team. It’s not a comparable thing, I don’t like comparing it, I don’t like it when people bring it up. But obviously the nature of the trade, it’s going to happen, people are going to say it … I don’t care about shoes to fill or anything like that.

“It’s one of those things I think it’s weird that so many media or fans everybody wants to bring it up like it’s such a big deal,” Verdugo added. “To me, I don’t think of it like that. Like I said, he’s not here. I’m not replacing him. Like yeah I was part of the trade … I don’t think about it.

The 24-year-old Verdugo is hitting .294 with three homers and four RBIs in his first 11 games for the Red Sox, settling in as the team’s every-day right fielder. He was acquired from the Dodgers in February along with Jeter Downs and Connor Wong as part of the package for Betts and David Price.

Betts was a big fan favorite, and Boston fans were not happy about the trade. But all Verdugo can do is focus on his own production, and he seems to be doing a good job of that so far.

Mookie Betts leaves game with finger injury

Mookie Betts

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a scare Sunday when Mookie Betts left the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a finger injury.

The Dodgers officially characterized the injury as a sore middle finger.

Betts appeared to tweak the finger on a swing in the fifth inning. It didn’t seem to have a big impact immediately, as he homered later in the plate appearance.

Betts has been everything the Dodgers hoped for when he signed his massive extension, starting to flash power at the plate while wowing with his defense. Fortunately, at first glance, this injury doesn’t appear too serious.

Did Mookie Betts, Dodgers have new contract extension in works before coronavirus?

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts received a massive contract extension from the Los Angeles Dodgers that looks even more bold given the current economic circumstances.

Betts got 12 years and $365 million added on to his existing deal, meaning he is signed to make $392 million over 13 years.

Teams are preparing for the possibility of having limited-to-no fans in attendance this year. There are no guarantees about when teams will be able to have full capacity crowds beyond this season. That’s why the deal was startling to many in the face of so much uncertainty.

So how did Betts get such a large deal?

ESPN’s Buster Olney says that some in the industry believe the Dodgers and Betts must have been working on a contract extension prior to the league being shut down. The completion of such a deal would likely have been done as a good faith measure.

The Dodgers’ desire to complete a deal with Betts is understandable given the talent he possesses.

Just 27, Betts is an MVP, four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, batting champion (2018), and he has led the league in runs scored twice. His deal will likely leave some Red Sox fans bummed out.

Mookie Betts contract reportedly worth $365 million in new money

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts’ new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers has reportedly set a record.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Betts’ deal adds $365 million in new money to his current agreement, topping a record set when Mike Trout re-signed with the Los Angeles Angels.

The total value of $392 million ultimately falls just short of the 12-year, $426 million contract extension Trout signed with the Angels prior to the 2019 season. Still, that’s enough to make the Betts deal the second-highest in MLB history and the third-highest on record in American professional sports. Both were topped by the contract Patrick Mahomes signed with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier in July.

Betts signed for a bit less than what he reportedly asked the Boston Red Sox for, but much more than what Boston actually offered. The Dodgers clearly have a lot of faith in him, but the former MVP is a career .300 hitter and is still just 27. As long as his career continues on the trajectory it’s been on, he’ll probably prove to be worth it.

Dodgers fans! Show everyone who runs LA with this great shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: Mookie Betts, Dodgers closing in on mammoth extension

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts is scheduled to become a free agent for the first time in his career after this season, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are apparently on the verge of convincing the star outfielder that there is no need to test the market.

Lou Merloni of WEEI in Boston reported on Wednesday that Betts and the Dodgers are closing in on a massive contract extension. The deal is reportedly for 10-plus years and somewhere in the range of $350-400 million.

Merloni, a former Red Sox player who now hosts a radio show, said back in January that Boston offered Betts a 10-year, $300 million extension before deciding to trade him to the Dodgers. Betts is said to have countered with 12 years and $420 million. With the coronavirus pandemic having a major impact on revenue for Major League Baseball this year, it’s possible Betts may be willing to take slightly less now than he would have a year ago.

Betts fueled speculation this week that he might return to the Red Sox with some of his social media activity. He had said before being traded that he wanted to finish his career in Boston, so the Red Sox would definitely be in the mix to sign him if he became a free agent.

Betts, 27, is a career .301 hitter. He’s two years removed from being named the AL MVP in 2018.

Mookie Betts fuels speculation over future by ‘liking’ Red Sox posts on social media

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts is eligible to return to the Boston Red Sox after the 2020 season, and he appears to be fueling the fire with some recent social media activity.

Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports noted on Sunday that the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder had been ‘liking’ many of the Boston Red Sox’s posts on social media recently. Other users quickly chipped in with screenshots and funny reactions.

The Red Sox traded Betts, the former AL MVP, to the Dodgers in February as part of a multi-player deal that netted them Alex Verdugo and top prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Betts will be a free agent this offseason and won’t have quite as much time to bond with the Dodgers organization in the meantime due to the shortened season.

Some Boston players are even prepared to recruit Betts back to the team, so it is easy to see why his Instagram activity is creating such a stir in the fanbase.