The world will never let the Red Sox forget they traded Mookie Betts.
Watching Mookie Betts shine on the World Series stage is a painful reminder of what the Boston Red Sox gave up. As much as we’d prefer to bury the past and move on, the rest of the baseball world appears hellbent on ensuring we never forget that our team traded away a generational talent.
Betts stole the show in Game 1 of the World Series with a dominant performance that had the FOX Sports crew gushing over his abilities, leaving them baffled as to how any team could ever let him get away. Even their social media account couldn’t resist taking a shot at Boston.
If only we could heal as quickly as Wolverine. Unfortunately, the pain still lingers and the constant discussion of last winter’s blockbuster trade only serves to pour salt in the wound.
If the Over/Under for the number of times the broadcast team mentions that the Red Sox traded Betts was set at 50 for this series (matching the number on his jersey), hammer the Over. Joe Buck and John Smoltz appeared to be on a mission to troll Red Sox fans by circling back to the topic at every opportunity, twisting the knife deeper with each reminder.
Joe Buck: Let’s kick it over to Ken Rosenthal to find out what in the world the Red Sox were thinking when they decided they didn’t need this guy anymore.
Ken Rosenthal: Well, they weren’t thinking, Joe. It was clearly a mistake to trade away the best player who ever lived. This is a disaster for Boston that they will NEVER recover from.
Ok, fine. That’s not exactly what they said but it sure felt that way to hear the broadcasters repeatedly bring up the topic.
Rosenthal went as far as to compare Betts to LeBron James, a once in a lifetime superstar that a franchise should never part with. Apparently, Rosenthal didn’t realize that LeBron has switched teams three times in his career. He left Cleveland TWICE! Maybe the Cavs should have considered trading him when they had the chance.
Betts did his part to ensure there were plenty of opportunities to swoon over his talent. After drawing a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, he stole second base to earn every fan in the country a free taco from Taco Bell. Hey, free food! That’s the second time this year that Betts will have saved some people from Boston some money.
Corey Seager followed with a walk of his own and teamed with Betts on a double-steal to put two runners in scoring position. Sadly, this doesn’t mean more tacos. We only get one. However, it means that Betts has now joined Babe Ruth as the only players in history to draw a walk and steal two bases in the same inning of a World Series game.
A solo home run by Betts to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Dodgers a commanding 7-1 lead. Betts is only the second player in World Series history to hit a home run and steal two bases in the same game.
Chase Utley was the other hitter to accomplish this feat, doing so in Game 1 of the 2008 World Series against… the Tampa Bay Rays. Imagine that, something that has only occurred twice in World Series history happened against the same team in their only two appearances in the Fall Classic. Utley also finished his career with the Dodgers so there’s another connection.
We get it. Betts is an incredible talent that any team would be lucky to have. No need to keep drilling that point into our skulls.
It doesn’t matter that no team outside of Los Angeles has ever handed out a contract as lucrative as what Betts was demanding or that he could have left Boston empty-handed if they held on to him until he hit free agency. Nobody brings up the point that his contract extension with the Dodgers could be an albatross at the end when Betts will be 39 years old.
Did people forget that the Red Sox offered Betts a deal with the same average annual value that he ended up getting from the Dodgers? The only difference is that LA was willing to tack on more years to increase the total value. Even if the last few years of his deal are a bust, it will be worth it for the Dodgers if Betts leads them to their first championship in over 30 years. Is it really that unreasonable that the Red Sox weren’t willing to take that same risk? Most teams wouldn’t.
The future is tomorrow’s problem. All anyone wants to talk about is how great Betts is right now. As if we didn’t already know. Red Sox fans are sick to their stomachs over losing their franchise player and everyone outside of Boston appears to be reveling in our suffering.
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The Dodgers took Game 1 but there will be at least three more games in this series, which could last up to seven games. That’s potentially six more nights of non-stop chatter about the Red Sox letting Betts get away. Buckle up, Boston. The adoration for Betts isn’t going away anytime soon.