Mookie Betts ‘Really Nervous’ Returning To Fenway Park As Dodgers Face Red Sox

Prior to the 2020 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Months later, the Dodgers signed Betts to a record-setting contract extension.

Betts was selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft and debuted with the club in 2014. He ended up spending six years in Boston while becoming one of the best players in baseball.

Betts was selected to four All-Star teams, winning the American League MVP Award and becoming a World Series Champion in 2018.

Now in his fourth season with the Dodgers, Betts is set to return to Fenway Park for the first time since the trade, and he shared with Kiké Hernández there’s some nervousness with it, via the “On Base With Mookie Betts” podcast:

“I’m really nervous. Like, I’m really nervous. It’s more just that I haven’t been back in so long. It’s where I grew up and I don’t know what to expect. I hope it’s cool though. I think it will be fun. I’m going to go in there and see the clubhouse. The clubhouse is new, a lot of new faces. I’m more excited to see the people. The people are what I remember the most. They made the most of the experience.”

The Red Sox and Dodgers agreed to the Betts trade less than a week before 2020 Spring Training began and the deal had to clear multiple hurdles to get finished. According to reports, Red Sox ownership paused after the negative media reaction came from the reported trade.

That led to the Red Sox revisiting the return, instead asking for additional compensation, which wound up being a package of Verdugo, Downs and Wong for Betts, Price and cash. That was in place of the first reported deal of Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol, who was being acquired from the Minnesota Twins as part of the three-team trade.

At the time of the trade, Betts was touted as the difference-maker for a Dodgers franchise that was seeking their first World Series since 1988. Manager Dave Roberts, Betts and other players attempted to downplay that pressure, but it proved to be the case as the Dodgers went on to win the World Series in his first season with the team.

For the Red Sox, they have struggled to overcome the loss of Betts and now sit in fourth place in the AL East with a 68-60 record.

Kiké Hernández also returning to Fenway Park

Although he was with the Red Sox for a shorter period of time, Hernández is also returning to Fenway Park for the first time since he was traded prior to the August 1 deadline this year.

Hernández has spent the majority of his career with the Dodgers, but he’s excited to return to Fenway to see his former teammates and say more goodbyes after a rushed exit roughly three weeks ago.

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