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Dodgers Mookie Betts on Debut and Staying at the Leadoff Spot in the Lineup

Dodgers

One of the most anticipated at-bats this spring training comes from the former AL MVP and the Dodgers’ biggest acquisition of the off-season, Mr. Mookie Betts.

Camelback Ranch — LA’s spring training home — was sold out more than 48 hours before the first pitch and when you add the debut of Mookie Betts in the Dodgers Uniform, you have a day that looks to be as fun filled as you can get.

In his next at bat, Mookie drove one to right, but was caught for another out. With some family in town, Mookie got one more chance to make a contribution in his debut and he didn’t disappoint with a sacrifice fly to score Luke Raley.

 

After the game, Betts spoke with media about his first game with the club, and how he’s adjusting to representing the Dodgers and playing for the organization.

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We also got to talk about where he feels comfortable in the lineup and if he’s understanding how the Dodgers are using data to change the lineups.

What are your thoughts on Mookie’s debut?

Written by Gary Lee

Born and raised in Los Angeles. Huge Lakers and Dodgers fan with a passion for building websites and online communities. Find me on LinkedIn

25 Comments

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  1. Mookie is good, but I’m still not convinced about him being in LA. I just feel he doesn’t really want to be here, there’s no passion and no hunger radiating from him. This is the reason why I never wanted him to come to LA from the start. You much rather have an ok player who WANTS to be here than a great player who feels trapped. It’s not good in the long run. He can prove me wrong and if he does I’ll eat my words but that’s just the vibe I get from him.

    • I don’t read that at all. This is who he his. Soft-spoken. No rah-rah fake passion. Just a consummate professional looking to get ready for a long season. He is establishing a businesslike tone, which is what a true leader does. Difficult grind coming up. Can’t get too high or too low. Really, this is what the Dodgers need. Their best player coming in and being all about the work ethic. And let’s be perfectly clear: Mookie Betts is the Dodgers best player. Will the other guys follow his lead? If they want to win, then they must.

    • He’s in his free agency year, looking for a $400M contract, how much more motivation do you need? And being on the best team in the league, what more do you want? I’m sure he’s crushed to be a Dodger [sarcasm alert].

      • Good point. Going into free agency brings out the best in players so they can maximize their upcoming contract. I remember when Adrian Beltre had his best year as Dodger just prior to becoming a free agent. The Dodgers let him go. He went on to join the 3000 hit club.

    • I’m getting Machado vibes from him. I don’t think stars want to play here unless they came up in the system or came here and became stars like Turner or Muncy. It must be something about how they run the team I can’t think of any other reason because the team wins the fans show up and the city is great

      • Psychic Don. Nostradamus Cato. Dr. Phil Cato. Lol. Don he just arrived here a week to 10 days ago. Life surprisingly upended. New city. New teammates. In limbo. Searching for a residence after spending 9 years in one place. No comparison with too cool for school, “I’m no Johnny Hustle” Machado. Heard he is a bit shy initially, but a great teammate and individual once he gets his bearings. Like all mlbers he’s looking forward to free agency after nine years in minors and bigs. I think Betts will give us more than Manny did in attitude, effort, and production. He is a “Johnny Hustle” type.

    • You are completely wrong and for sure you can tell you are not a definite dodger fan @charlie check it for the last 2 or 3 years we have been getting ok players and still come up short we are not trying to win a division or pennant we are trying to win a damn world series so finally we get some help a great player in mookie

    • So he’s not a rah-rah, jumping up-and-down guy like Joc or Kike? Well, neither are Turner, Bellinger, Seager, Kershaw, Taylor, and pretty much the rest of the team. They go about doing a very professional job, show some emotion when warrented, and then get back to business. Better to have one of the top 5 players in MLB doing this, than another guy who is a yeller but of average to good talent.

    • He’s not trapped. He can be a free agent at the end of the season. Wanting a big contract I expect him to go all out to prove he’s not just a product of Fenway. If he has a big year in Dodger Stadium, a known pitchers park (Good pitchers anyway,) he can play anywhere. And he’s not going back to Boston otherwise they would have come up with a plan to keep him or just traded him at the deadline for prospects and then try to sign him during the FA window. I think of 27 million reasons to not feel trapped…

      • Here’s how to make sure Betts is happy in LA. Just let him play ball. Don’t jerk him around. Let him play in right field ever day. Let him bat in the leadoff spot every day. He won an MVP doing that. He’s better than anyone else you have at doing that. This is not rocket science. When Roberts gets those crazy urges to mess with Betts, give him some medication to stop the voices in his head. Maybe then he’ll be able to see what the rest of the world already knows. If Roberts messes this one up, he should be fired. This is just too obvious.

        • Roberts has never had a position player like Betts. Neither has any manager in the Los Angeles history of the franchise. Betts will be the best non-pitcher anyone has ever seen in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform. No one else is close. Roberts is one of the best managers in baseball, and surely understands that. There have been two main reasons for lineup juggling:
          1. To keep guys fresh. Everyone deserves to play.
          2. The overall talent level hasn’t been as good as some people think. Good players, but not much in the way of elite talent.

          Roberts has done a fabulous job. In 50-plus years as a fan, he’s the best Dodger manager I’ve seen by far. He’s also a real person, unlike a certain “swami” who undeservedly got inducted into the HOF.

          • Hey Codger, I’m not advocating for Roberts to be fired (yet), despite all of his bonehead pitching moves over the last three postseasons. I’m just saying that everyone knows how Betts should be used, as an everyday rightfielder and leadoff hitter. Anything that compromises that MVP program is managerial malpractice. Everyone needs to show results. And everyone is expendable when they don’t, including Roberts. Roberts has been dealt some winning player personnel cards during his entire managerial tenure. He has another strong hand this year, possibly the best yet. It’s time to win it all. That may sound harsh, but it’s life.

            I’ve been a Dodger fan for 50 years as well. I remember Dodger managers going back to Walt Alston. But I don’t glorify any of them. I generally think of the players themselves getting the job done, and a good manager quietly helping players to develop, and making critical game time decisions, especially with pitchers. I personally think that Dusty Baker or Mike Scoscia might have been better than any of the Dodger managers going back to Alston. I also think that Bruce Boche was clearly better than all of them because he won titles with less than great players. He knew how to win. I like Dave Roberts. I hope he learns how to win titles. He has had more player talent than the 2010-2014 Giants for the past three years. It’s time to win a title.

          • Old codger why don’t you have the courage to name who that so called swami is

  2. I don’t care if he only plays a year here. The Dodgers were sitting on a bunch of youth who we were told are simply awesome or going to be awesome. I don’t understand fans who want to just watch overrated rookies who came up through the system. Mookie is clearly a MLB talent maybe only 2nd to Trout as the best in the game. We lost nothing to see the best talent in MLB for a year. With MB we now have the best lineup in MLB. The WS is now closer than ever.

  3. Mookie is a professional and definitely a great addition for any team! He will show up and give 100%. That’s all you can ask. I am not so sure a 400m contract is warranted for his services, but for one year, at 27m, it’s a great rental. Good Luck to both the Dodgers and certainly… The BOSTON RED SOX!

  4. Folks, Mookie will be fine, but remember most players need a bit of time to adjust to a new league and to pitchers they haven’t seen before perhaps. But with all the depth the one thing still holds true is that Roberts and how he and FO run the team obviously works well in the regular season, especially playing 76 of the 162 games in a relatively ‘soft’ division. However, those same mind sets with running the team does not or at least has NOT translated to full on October success.

  5. The Betts info is great…..what’s with Joc Pederson…..when is he going to play in a Cactus League game? I s he physically hurt? Is he in the dog house? Or Both?

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