Life is good at Camelback Ranch, and the Dodgers are having plenty of fun while getting ready for the new season.
During yesterday’s workouts, the Dodgers’ media team caught players making some wild catches, including the likes of Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts. This may give off the impression that they are loose and not worried about dropped balls during training camp, but Justin Turner assured fans on an interview with MLB Network radio that this was not the case. In fact, any dropped ball during their workouts could cost each player a pretty penny.
It’s a fun place to be, and we do have fun. But don’t let that deceive you. It’s still guys working hard. We still have our ‘Mookie Betts’ rule in place where [if you make an error], drop a ball or throw one away, you put $20 in the pot… That outfield drill, you know, they were doing trick catches and stuff, but if you messed up, if you didn’t catch the ball, they were paying $20. So those guys were pretty bold doing some of the stuff that they were doing out there.
The Mookie Betts rule — or kangaroo court — is something that the second-year Dodger put in place last season as a way to hold guys accountable for their errors. Moreover, Mookie himself was sly in revealing to media members that the fines are already adding up this spring. “We can go to a nice dinner,” a smiling Betts mentioned, “we’ll just put it that way.”
It sounds like the team will be implementing this rule throughout the spring and into the season, which doesn’t sound like a bad idea after ranking 20th in errors per game in 2020.
The Dodgers averaged 0.63 errors per game last year, which was a slight improvement from their 0.65 EPG in 2019. Here’s hoping that the Betts system can help that average trend in the right direction once again.