For the first time since the 2019 regular season, Mookie Betts will make his long awaited return to Fenway park, the stadium he called home for parts of six seasons. The blockbuster deal that sent both Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers may have been over three years ago, but for Betts, the deal feels like eons have passed.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes about Betts’ return to Boston and how the Dodgers superstar thinks Boston fans will treat him in his first at-bat back at Fenway:
“The only real, honest reason is just I played well,” Betts said of the likelihood that Boston fans will greet him warmly in his return visit... “I think playing well is the No. 1 reason I think I enjoyed it so much. It helped shape who I am today, and let me know that it doesn’t matter where I go or who we’re facing or what atmosphere you’re in. If you can play in Boston, you can play anywhere.”
Betts became a face of the Red Sox franchise through six seasons, as he tallied four All-Star appearances, four gold glove awards, three silver slugger awards, and helped Boston win the 2018 championship over the Dodgers while winning the AL MVP that same season. In 794 games with Boston, Betts hit a combined .301/.374/.519, .893 OPS and 137 OPS+, with 139 home runs, 470 RBI, 229 doubles, 120 stolen bases, and a 42.2 bWAR.
- Mookie Betts sat down with teammate Kiké Hernández to discuss both of their returns to Boston among other topics in the latest episode of the podcast On Base with Mookie Betts.
Per Betts: “I’m really nervous... More just that I haven’t been back in so long. It’s like where I grew up and I don’t know what to expect.”
- Fabian Ardaya, Jen McCaffrey, and Chad Jennings at The Athletic also wrote about Betts’ return to Boston, and how he’s adapted to his new home in Los Angeles. Said Freddie Freeman: “It’s not a market for Mookie. ... Mookie is the market. Wherever Mookie is, is the market.”
- Betts talked this week with Peter Abraham at the Boston Globe about his return to Fenway Park, saying, “I know it’s going to be cool.”
- Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times writes about Kiké Hernández’s return to the Dodgers, noting how being able to play within a Dodgers’ team that understands his strengths and playing in front of an adoring fanbase have ultimately saved his professional baseball career.
- Jim Bowden of The Athletic lists one player from each of the 30 teams that has been the most indispensable “under-the-radar” part of their team. David Peralta was selected as the most underrated Dodger this season for his key situational hitting and infectious energy he brings to the clubhouse.