When the Dodgers traded for Mookie Betts this offseason, they got more than just an All-Star player. They also got a clubhouse leader and a guy that will change the pace of a clubhouse for the better. On the first night of Spring Camp, Mookie immediately called David Price to let him know he would be issuing the new team a challenge.
In interviews with USA Today, several players discussed what Betts had said on the first day of Spring. Mookie came out strong and let his new team know that this year needs to be different in Los Angeles.
“I thought it was awesome, a great message. It definitely impacted our camp. The intensity went up right after that. He’s treating every ground ball, every fly ball, like it’s Game 7 of the World Series, and there are ramifications if you mess it up.” – Dodgers’ Outfielder AJ Pollock
Pollock, who is still relatively new to the Dodgers, wasn’t the only veteran impressed. Justin Turner, who is the de facto clubhouse leader, was also happy to see it from Betts.
“It was definitely surprising to a lot of people. You don’t see a guy coming into a clubhouse, not knowing too many guys, get up, and basically challenge the whole team to be accountable. That was something pretty special. It’s something I’ll probably never forget.” -Justin Turner
Generally speaking, it’s not often that you see a new player make such a strong statement this early. But the Dodgers have long been living in cruise control, winning division after division but with nothing to show for it. That’s not to say they haven’t come close. They probably should have won the 2017 World Series, given that the Astros had to cheat to take the series seven games.
But winning the National League West for seven straight years is not enough. Going to the World Series in back-to-back years is not enough. And Mookie Betts knows that the time is now for the Dodgers to bring back a title to Los Angeles.
“Hopefully this is a season that will be remembered forever in LA. It’s time.’’ -Mookie Betts
No more games, it’s time to get down to business. It’s time for a Dodgers World Series.