The Los Angeles Dodgers initially had three players selected for the National League roster for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, but that number increased to five when replacements were announced.
Walker Buehler and Justin Turner joined a group that was supposed to include Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor. However, Betts withdrew from the exhibition contest due to injury.
The 28-year-old has missed some time this season with back and left shoulder trouble, and clarified his absence was not because of a new ailment. “Just the same stuff,” he said.
“There’s no break in baseball, so this is the only time I can really get a break of more than a day. I just want to use it to the best that I can. I would love to be in the All-Star Game, but I think we all know the goal is to win a World Series.
“I think this break will definitely help me to help us get to that point.”
Betts, in the midst of his worst statistical season since 2017, was surprised to be selected to his fifth career All-Star Game as he did not believe he deserved the recognition.
Despite that, Betts found no reprieve in missing the 91st Midsummer Classic. “I don’t think there’s any relief,” he began.
“I think it’s just something that I think is going to be best for myself, which in turn is going to help the team, I think. What the decision really is about is myself and the Dodgers.”
While Betts would have preferred to play, he believes the extended break will prove to be beneficial from both a mental and physical standpoint. “Mentally definitely does play a part,” Betts said. “Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Betts doesn’t take All-Star selection for granted
Having already played in the All-Star Game on several occasions, Betts revealed he likely would have still skipped the event even if he had never participated before. “Maybe, but I would say probably not,” Betts answered when asked if his approach would have been different.
“All-Star Game is definitely an honor, especially being voted in by your peers, so I definitely don’t want to discount that honor. But I do understand that I have some nagging things going on that I just would like to heal up.
“There definitely are some deserving guys in our clubhouse that should be there, so I’m happy that those guys are in. I’ll take my rest.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!