The Los Angeles Dodgers made one of the biggest splashes during the offseason by acquiring 2018 American League MVP and four-time All-Star Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox.
The additions of Betts and David Price helped L.A. accomplish its biggest goal of the winter: adding elite talent to a roster already filled with such players and one coming off a franchise-record 106 wins but still in search of a World Series.
Betts checks off many boxes for L.A., giving the club another right-handed bat and a steady presence at the leadoff spot. He is also one of the league’s best defenders and will now share the same outfield with fellow Gold Glove winner Cody Bellinger.
Though he has been part of the organization for less than a month, Betts is already making his presence felt in the Dodgers clubhouse.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Betts and Justin Turner have developed a system that requires one to pay a fee every time a mistake is made during Spring Training workouts and Cactus League games:
Mookie Betts (outfielders) and Turner (infielders) have established a ‘kangaroo court’ fine system for mistakes made during drills or in games this spring. Each player is keeping a tally on a sheet of paper at his locker and collecting money from violators. “It’s great,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“It’s just that incentive to pay attention to detail – whether it’s hit a cutoff man, catch a grounder, get the signs. So now we have a kitty that’s a small kitty that is going to continue to grow throughout the season. I just liked that accountability part of it. When one of your star players speaks out, it’s a lot easier for those guys to kind of follow along and have fun with it but also understanding the message behind it.”
As Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted, Betts and Turner’s system is not only fun and competitive, but incentivizes each player to make as few mistakes as possible.
It is also a great way to ensure that both Betts and Turner stay sharp during Cactus League play and into the regular season, which begins on March 26 with an Opening Day matchup against the San Francisco Giants.
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