That’s right. Don’t adjust your monitors. You read it correctly. Boston Red Sox star center fielder Mookie Betts is going to the World Series … of Bowling. As a bowler, no less.
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Kels Dayton of WTNH.com reported that “the 23-year-old will compete in the World Series of Bowling in Reno, Nevada, in December, the PBA announced this week.” He will be competing against over 200 bowlers at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
According to Dayton, “Betts was named the Tennessee Boys’ Bowler of the Year in 2010, and according to the PBA, he rolled two certified perfect games in high school. He even set state records with a 290 game and an 827 series as a junior. He said he got his introduction to bowling from his mother, who was an avid bowler in the Nashville area and also served as his first Little League coach.”
Where do we even begin, here?
Is there a big chance that Betts will suffer a baseball career-ending injury in some freak bowling accident? Probably not. At the same time, using your throwing arm to repeatedly lift back and swing forward a heavy bowling ball in the offseason isn’t exactly resting it up for 2016. The man only made just over $514 thousand from the Red Sox this season, with arbitration slowly making its way in 2018. It will be three more years until Betts can expect to make the big money that he’s been clearly worth.
Betts hit a slash line of .291/.341/.479 with 18 home runs and 77 RBIs in 145 games. He had 42 doubles and 21 stolen bases in his first full season with the Red Sox. And, he’s only 22 years old; his potential continues to grow, with maybe no limit in sight.
Does Betts want to risk that, even if it’s just a minor chance?
The timing of the bowling tournament is also ominous. The Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will be buried in trade talks and free agent negotiations. Imagine if he got the news that Betts’ arm isn’t feeling all that great after bowling his way through a gruelling head-to-head matchup on the lanes?
Hey, don’t laugh! It’s a tough sport, like being a pitcher on a team of one. It has its own ‘cleats’ and the slick, wooden floor can be more treacherous than any holes in a mound. One false move and Betts could find himself on his back, gasping for air as the impact knocks the wind out of him.
In all seriousness, bowling is actually a very tough sport to play and Betts’ ability to play at a level worthy of the World Series of Bowling is quite impressive. Not to mention how skilled his mother must be as well, in both bowling and baseball. She raised and coached one of the best MLB players of the year, which is an amazing accomplishment for both of them. They have both made Nashville and Boston very proud.
It is that love and respect that spews forth in this article in the form of (possibly unnecessary) worry and torment. We’ve seen the bat and the glove, and we want to see that continue for many, many years to come. We want to see him play at a top level to receive a big payday contract in the future. Betts wants to bowl? He can become the greatest bowling champion of all time, after he becomes a multiple World Series Champion of baseball in a Red Sox jersey first.
From one father to a wonderful woman’s son, have fun but please, whatever you do, don’t get hurt!
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