When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in February, it was with a clear eye on ending the organization’s World Series drought.
Betts brought with him to L.A. an impressive resumé that included numerous accolades and championship experience. He not only thrived from an individual standpoint in his first season with the club, but also helped elevate those around him.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Betts was able to do this by listening to others and spreading positivity. “You can do some digging on a player, you can look at the back of a baseball card, but you don’t really know until you know and you spend time with a player,” Roberts said.
“For me, I just never have seen a superstar player be as engaged as Mookie is. I use the word present. Whatever he’s doing, whoever he’s talking to, he’s engaged and he’s present. I think that just speaks for what type of character and teammate he is.
“I think it manifests itself because it let everyone know you can help others, be in tune with other people, teammates, coaches, front office, and still perform. I think people get so caught up on their own plight and their own world. I think Mookie has this ability and understanding that to win a championship, you’ve got to elevate everybody around you; that’s coaches included.
“He just has a real good clarity and feel to deliver that to everyone. He’s made me a better coach and I’m sure everybody can say he impacted them in some way positively at some point.”
Roberts’ revealed that he first saw this trait in Betts almost immediately after reporting to camp. “I noticed that in Spring Training 1.0. Every so often he would come into my office and run an idea by me about philosophy on how we play, how I coach, his teammates, coaches, the dynamics,” Roberts said.
“He just really wanted to get the lay of the land on everything. And then as we moved on with the days following, there were deeper conversations and he was always in tune with the way I think, his teammates, the coaches.
“Having as much information as he can on everyone allowed for him to learn us more. All he does is care about everyone succeeding. Ultimately that led to us winning a championship this year.”
Bellinger marvels at Betts’ work ethic
Cody Bellinger was among the many Dodgers players that found inspiration from Betts’ work ethic this past season. He specifically praised Betts for paying attention to the little things and making sure to go over them with his teammates.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!