Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Draws Backlash Following Jacob deGrom Praise

The Dodgers lost to Jacob deGrom on Wednesday night, scoring just one run in a tight 2-1 game.

That one run came on a 415-foot home run from Mookie Betts, his 32nd of the season to tie his career high. After the game, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports, Betts had a pretty glowing review of deGrom, not just on Wednesday but for his career.

“He’s pretty much the best, maybe the best to ever pitch,” Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said. “I don’t think anybody does (compare). I think the stats kind of say that as well.”

Mookie’s praise of deGrom has drawn some backlash from some in Dodgers circles, including insider/poorslider David Vassegh on his postgame Dodger Talk show, wondering how Betts can put that superlative on deGrom.

“Come on, Mookie! Is this where you’re trying to blow up his ego and then all of a sudden you’re gonna crush him in October? I mean, are you kidding me, Mookie Betts? Jacob deGrom is not the greatest ever. Jacob deGrom isn’t even the greatest ever of your generation. Will you stop it, Mookie? I mean, it is so obvious what he — I mean, I hope what he was trying to do, the rope-a-dope, where he’s telling this guy, ‘Man, you are so good. You are so awesome. But we’re gonna beat you … in October. … This is unbelievable. Hey, by the way, Mookie, to be the greatest of all time, you actually have to pitch more than 14 times in a year.”

While Vassegh makes a good point about the durability of deGrom, who has made 30 starts just four times in his nine seasons, he also misses that Betts was talking about quality, not quantity. When deGrom is healthy, he is certainly in the conversation for greatest ever — his 2.48 ERA is better than any starter in the Hall of Fame, for example, and even a touch better than Clayton Kershaw’s 2.49.

A car can be the fastest ever even if it’s in the shop a lot, as long as, when it’s on the road, it drives the fastest. That’s deGrom, and while you might not want to build a team around a 34-year-old with his injury track record, when he’s on the mound and healthy, he’s definitely in the conversation for best ever.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Mookie Betts has a right to say what he did I wouldn’t challenge that opinion because he feels that way. I just don’t think he is correct to diss other pitchers I can think of lots of other pitchers who were more effective in their careers, like Sandy Koufax, and Nolan Ryan to name two pitchers. How about Don Drysdale and Don Sutton, Warren Spahn and others who have a lot more wins than DeGrom. That for me is what makes a pitcher great. And at 34 DeGrom will never reach the number of wins that will distinguish him as the greatest of all time. So, let him build up another pitcher on the opposing team and let’s beat DeGrom in October. They almost beat him this time if it wasn’t for the homerun that Nimmo robbed making the greatest play in his career.

  2. The comparison to cars is appropriate. However, baseball is more like the 24 hours of LeMans. It is the toughest test of any automobile. To be driven as fast as one care can be for 24 hours on a track that is full of danger and challenges. DeGrom is the automobile equivalent of a drag racing car, or a car that races at LeMans and never finishes the race. To be the best in baseball or LeMans one must have the ability to “go as fast as hell” as it were, but you also have to have incredible endurance to finish the race and that’s what DeGrom’s not been able to do.

    DNF (did not finish)

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