The Los Angeles Dodgers have positioned themselves atop the National League West despite a slow start this season, and Mookie Betts has been among the keys to their turnaround.
Penciled in with Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, J.D. Martinez and Max Muncy as everyday players, most times there are few more valuable than Betts. The 30-year-old was frustrated with his month of April but has improved during May and is now looking to have a consistently strong season.
The Dodgers are 15-8 since May 1, and as the team has gone in recent years, as Betts goes, so do the Dodgers. The spark he brings to the lineup and Gold Glove ability in the field have been his calling card since becoming a star with the Boston Red Sox.
However, he’s always shown a level of tenacity seen mostly in the upper echelon of players, and according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Betts is looking at the game through a slightly newer, and wiser lens:
But Betts says his priorities have changed. If he was playing to make his mark as an individual early in his career, now “It doesn’t matter if I’m the best,” he says.
“I’ve kind of done a lot of things I set out to do – which is win MVP, win the World Series, win some awards and whatnot,” he says. “So now you play the game to win.”
Betts is on a fast track for the Hall of Fame, and with his individual accolades he may already be there.
Winning the 2020 World Series ended a 32-year drought for the Dodgers, and Betts’ home run to extend their lead in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays was his stamp on a historic run. Betts may be a multi-talented athlete off the diamond, but his commitment to the Dodgers and his drive to win is as high as ever.
Mookie Betts & Freddie Freeman ‘can change the game’
The Dodgers’ recent run of success has been fueled by Betts and Freeman leading the way.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts leans on the duo to drive the offense and set an example for the rest of the club, and he also appreciates their ability to make an instance impact.
“That’s why they’re superstars. Every time they get up to bat, they can change the game,” Roberts answered when recently asked if it is nice having two former MVP winners at the top of the Dodgers lineup.
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