Dodgers: Orel Hershiser Sees Career Parallels with Mookie Betts
While Dodgers analyst Orel Hershiser already gave a fine review of David Price coming over in the deal with Boston, he also took a look at Mookie Betts’ career and drew from his own experiences.
"You'd have to go back a decade to find a losing season for David Price. You move him to the NL West ballparks, it's going to be an upgrade." @OrelHershiser weighs in on the impact David Price could have with the #Dodgers should a trade come to fruition. pic.twitter.com/Yb3eNBDLtQ
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) February 5, 2020
Of course, Betts is a born and raised Red Sox star. However, the writing was on the wall as his time ticked down in Boston. As much as he wanted to stay in Bean Town — a place he considers his home — he was also eager to test the free agent market after not getting a contract extension offer he felt was worthy of his talents.
Hershiser spoke on the feelings that come with leaving a team you want to be with but knowing it was coming.
I think he’s already been playing through this for a while because he turned down Boston in a long term deal. So mentally, he’s already thought about putting on another uniform, getting to know another travelling secretary, having a new trainer, having new teammates. So he’s mentally gone through that.
When I went from the Dodgers to the Cleveland Indians, I still wanted to be a Dodger but there was no job available for me so I had to seek other employment. I think this is not going to be as big a shock to him. It took half a season to look down at my chest and see ‘Indians’ and not see ‘Dodgers’ and think ‘oh my gosh, this is my team.
One of the million-dollar (or $420M over 12 years) questions has been whether or not Los Angeles can make a run as re-signing or extending Betts to a long-term deal.
Earlier this week on Dodgers Nation’s Blue Heaven Podcast, I opined that Betts being with the Dodgers at the start of spring training instead of coming over at a later time would be key in him building chemistry with his new teammates, and with that, a love for the organization.
Bulldog agreed with that idea.
The difference between getting ready for a game in July, and getting ready for spring training games on a daily basis is huge. To have that 20-minute meeting before you workout every day — to get to know your teammates, your manager, the whole organization, the introductions — everything that you learn about an organization really comes in spring training.
So to be able to acquire a player and go into a Dave Roberts spring training and Andrew Friedman meetings, the prep that they go through, the chemistry things they do during spring training together … it is a huge transition boost.
Mookie Betts is an MLB superstar for a reason. He’s a big personality guy and he’s bringing it, along with his talents to LA for that #HollywoodLifestyle. Thankfully he’ll have time to introduce that personality in the more relaxed setting that comes at Camelback Ranch.
NEXT: Dave Vassegh Thinks Betts is Coming To LA at the Perfect Time
A somewhat unspoken facet of this situation is that it also allows the Dodgers to get to know a player that the team has interest in chasing in free agency. There is no question that the Dodgers learned a lot from Machado’s and Darvish’s interludes in Blue. The main thing they learned was that neither was a good long-term, high price option, at least for the Dodgers. What they will see with Betts is “is he worth the money or not.” Better to find that out now, before a 10-year contract is signed.