Great expectations are nothing new for superstar right fielder Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since 2013, no franchise in baseball has won like the Dodgers. The team that occupies Chavez Ravine has won 820 games since 2013 – snatching 8 straight NL West crowns – before the archrival Giants 107-win explosion last season. At just 29 years old, Mookie is halfway to solidifying himself as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Betts has already won two World Series titles, an MVP Award, five Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards and a batting title.
A nagging hip injury made 2021 a frustrating year for Betts – although many big leaguers would take a “frustrating” year that consists of 23 bombs, an .854 OPS, and an All-Star nod.
For Mookie, this was the definition of a down year. He started off with a bang, securing an appearance in the Call of Duty: Warzone Season 3 video game trailer.
Things were rocky from there, as a season-long injury limited him to just 122 games and less than 500 at-bats, his lowest since his rookie year. And despite their decade of dominance, the Dodgers only World Series came during the COVID-shortened 2020 season – Betts’ first year with the squad.
How does an ownership group with an unlimited checkbook that spends money like the OG Steinbrenner fix this problem?
You add another MVP.
After seeing shortstop Corey Seager sign with the Texas Rangers, the Dodgers decided to sign the best left-handed bat on the market in 2021 World Series MVP and 2020 NL MVP (& SoCal’s native) Freddie Freeman. Freeman now joins Betts and Cody Bellinger in what could be the most dangerous lineup in baseball – especially if Bellinger can get through his recent struggles.
Add the return of Cy Young pitcher Clayton Kershaw to that nucleus. Now, Los Angeles has a potential juggernaut, complete with FOUR former league MVPs.
Even with a loaded roster that includes other All-Star caliber players, the Dodgers understand that it all starts with leadoff man Mookie. The Dodgers will host this year’s All-Star game, but with a roster carrying four League MVPs, anchored by Mookie Betts, every night in the city of angels could feel like a midsummer classic.