Mookie Betts Credits Mom, Dodgers Teammates For Growing Fond Of Blue Uniform & Making It ‘Home’
Mookie Betts, 2020 Spring Training
Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports

After endless speculation and a three-team trade coming undone, the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to complete their blockbuster deal with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price days before pitchers and catchers reported for the start of Spring Training.

While the trade ended a whirlwind period, it also marked the start of another era for the two All-Stars. Particularly for Betts, who immediately was touted as the caliber of player who was expected to help lead the Dodgers in their quest to end the franchise’s World Series drought.

It additionally was a new beginning for the 2018 American League MVP, who was drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round in 2011. He made his MLB debut with the club in 2014 and took on an everyday role the following year.

The trade not only meant a new organization for Betts, but switching coasts and transitioning from wearing a classic red to Dodger Blue. During an interview with Joe Davis, Betts admitted to having initial reservations with the new uniform color but that was eased after a conversation with his mother and new teammates creating a comfortable environment:

“It was weird, man. It was weird. It took my mom calling to say, ‘You look good in blue,’ before I accepted the blue. It was super weird (but) it didn’t take long to get used to. The guys in there made it so seamless. It was really home by the time all this stuff happened.”

Whatever reservations Betts may have held with the new uniform didn’t have much of an impact. He addressed the entire clubhouse on the first day of full-squad workouts, challenging players to bring a relentless drive and focus to every aspect of their preparation.

Betts’ speech earned plenty of praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Kiké Hernandez, David Price and Justin Turner, among others.

“I think we love that we have that in our clubhouse. He’s a guy that has the résumé, has the accolades, the pedigree, that when he speaks, guys are going to listen,” Turner said. “Guys are going to be curious, guys are going to learn a little bit more.

“It makes it easier when you say stuff like that but you hold yourself to the same accountability. It makes it easier to stand up and preach to a team when you practice and play the way that you talk about. It was good.”

When the Dodgers get another look — the first of the regular season — at Betts is unknown due to uncertainty with the season that’s been created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And because of an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, Betts will receive credit for a full year of service time even if the entire 2020 season is lost.

Thus, every indication is the 27-year-old will reach free agency this winter.

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