Mookie Betts is set to return to Fenway Park this weekend for the first time since the Boston Red Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020.
Betts spent the first six seasons of his career with the Red Sox, where he was a four-time All-Star, 2018 American League MVP Award winner and 2018 World Series champion.
Betts is expected to receive a lengthy standing ovation when he steps into the batter’s box as a visiting player, and already has played out the scenario in his head.
During a sit-down with Christian Yelich on his “On Base with Mookie Betts podcast,” Betts said he may have to take a pitch clock violation in order to let the fans salute him unless the Dodgers or Red Sox make a special request:
“When I got back to Boston, I’m just going to have to take a strike. You know what I’m saying? Or you know what? I think they can submit. I’m submitting a form. I’m getting that.”
Earlier this season, Cody Bellinger received a pitch clock violation in his return to Dodger Stadium while tipping his cap to fans. The unfortunate situation could have been prevented if the Dodgers or Cubs had followed the proper MLB protocols.
Yelich pointed that out to Betts, and the 30-year-old recalled the dismay from all involved:
“He got banged! We were all like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ None of us wanted that. None of us wanted that.”
The Dodgers’ upcoming trip to Fenway Park will be their first since July 12-14, 2019. L.A. is 9-9 in 18 all-time regular-season matchups against Boston.
Mookie Betts among Dodgers players with ties to Red Sox
In addition to Betts, Kiké Hernández and Ryan Brasier are returning to Fenway Park for the first time since joining the Dodgers. The same would have applied to J.D. Martinez, but he is currently on the 10-day injured list and in Arizona. Joe Kelly also pitched for Boston but has returned on multiple occasions.
Of course, the Red Sox have several players with previous ties to the Dodgers as well. The group includes Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo. Connor Wong, who was part of the trade for Betts, additionally spent three seasons in the Dodgers organization.
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