Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts has now been a major part of baseball history’s two greatest rivalries.
Luckily for Dodger fans, his personal motivation hasn’t taken a step back after he left No. 1 for No. 2.
Formerly a tormentor of the New York Yankees while starring for the Red Sox from 2014-2019 (that’s it?), Betts was traded west before the shortened 2020 season and dashed Bostonian hopes everywhere by inking a career-ending contract extension before he could fulfill their dream and “come back” again prior to 2021.
Now, Betts has once more led his team to victory over his new chief rival, going 4-for-4 in the winner-take-all Game 5 that decided a razor-thin NLDS battle with the San Francisco Giants. Of course he did that.
After the massive win, Betts took a break from celebrating to toss some cold water on the gathered media’s hypothesis that whatever he’d just experienced was in some way superior to the rivalry on the other coast.
Not a fan of recency bias, Betts wouldn’t even come close to that admission. Not gonna trick this dude.
Mookie Betts doesn’t think Dodgers-Giants is in Yankees-Red Sox stratosphere.
Look at him dodge that question! He’s a natural Dodger!
In truth, Dodgers-Giants would be (uh oh, everybody’s looking at me) a lot more fun if both teams were still in New York. Is this biased? Obviously. But there’s just nothing like an east coast blood feud. It’d be like if the Yankees actually cared about Mets-Yankees!
There are plenty of great rivalries in the game of baseball. Dodgers-Giants is great! Cardinals-Cubs is great. Cardinals-Brewers, Cardinals-Reds…OK, everyone hates the Cardinals.
But Yankees-Red Sox just trumps them all, and Betts knows better than anyone.
He also played Thursday night’s Game 5 like a good old-fashioned Yankees-Sox game, refusing to be retired.
Betts is the king of elimination games (of course he is!) because he’s one of the best players to ever walk the earth.
We know his feelings on Yankees-Sox, but someone should ask him his thoughts on the newest rivalry: Red Sox Fans With Brains vs. Red Sox Fans Who Think Losing Mookie Betts Made the Team Better.
We might get to watch the fan base implode all on their own if both teams advance to the World Series in a few weeks.