When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox just before the start of Spring Training, not only were they getting a former MVP and Cy Young Award winner, but they were also adding two veterans with championship experience.
Betts and Price both played big roles in the Red Sox defeating the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series, of course, and they will now try to help L.A. break their 32-year championship drought — if and when the 2020 season is able to begin.
Often times, fitting into a new clubhouse can be difficult, but every indication during camp was Betts and Price were blending in perfectly.
Betts has even taken on a leadership role despite only being with the team for a few weeks as he took it upon himself to stand up and speak in front of his new team on the first day of Spring Training.
The message from Betts was a simple but important one – to treat every game and every Spring Training rep like it’s Game 7 of the World Series – and his new teammates seemed to have received it well.
It appears that Betts actually consulted Price before deciding to do that, and the latter gave his approval, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
“I told him, ‘If it’s something you feel very strongly about, something you need to address, go ahead and do it'” Price said. “But make sure you choose your words wisely. Do it the right way. The one thing I worried about is that Mookie is brutally honest. Don’t ask Mookie a question if you don’t want brutal honesty. He can hurt your feelings. He doesn’t care if it’s something you don’t want to hear, he’s going to give you an honest opinion.”
The atmosphere in the Dodgers’ clubhouse has been business-like for a number of years now. But this 2020 team is perhaps the most talented one they have ever had, so they will view anything short of winning the World Series as a failure.
While Betts is now considered to be one of the leaders of the team, he is in his final year of club control before reaching free agency in the offseason, which makes the dynamic pretty interesting.
The hope is that he will continue to fit in and enjoy his time in L.A. so the Dodgers can ink him to a long-term contract when the time comes.
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