The Last Time A Black Player Led In All-Star Voting Was Ken Griffey Jr. In 1999 | Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge Can Change That

The Last Time A Black Player Led In All-Star Voting Was Ken Griffey Jr. In 1999 | Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge Can Change That

Phase 1 of the fan voting process of the 2022 MLB All-Star game was just complete, as the MLB released its standings. The two leaders so far: Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts.

Aaron Judge is on a tear for the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees, as the team has earned a 52-19 record so far, and is on pace for 120 wins. During the 58 games that he has played, he is batting .304, with 27 home runs, 53 RBI, with an on-base percentage of .379, and a slugging percentage of .658. He also has a total of 79 hits and 58 runs scored.

His runs scored and home run total are both leading all of baseball, and Judge is on pace for 60 home runs, which would be the first time anyone has reached that milestone since 2001, when both Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds each hit over 60.

Mookie Betts, who just recently went on the injured list with a cracked rib, had one of the best months of May in the history of the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that month, he had 12 home runs, 27 RBI, an on-base percentage of .411, a slugging percentage of .741, and was batting .342 during that span. Overall, in the 60 games he has played, he is batting .273, hitting 17 home runs and 60 RBI, a .349 on-base percentage, and a .535 slugging percentage.

If Betts or Judge can continue to lead the All-Star polls, and either be the voting leader when it is all said and done, it would be the first time a Black player would have the most All-Star votes since Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners did it in 1999.

As Betts locked in his massive deal back in 2020, now it is Judge’s turn to get his. Judge, who had just agreed to a one-year, $19 million contract to avoid arbitration, is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2022 season.

He turned down an seven-year, $213.5 million offer at the beginning of the season from the Yankees, and with the season he is having, it is looking like he made the right decision. He is set for an even bigger payday, whether that is from the Yankees, or from a different team.

 

As Judge is essentially a lock to start in the Midsummer Classic, Betts will be, too, if he can make it back from the IL in time. After the All-Star break, the next focus is to continue their respective sensational seasons during the second half to try and lock up awards for the season, like MVPs, All-MLB team slots, and most importantly, a championship. Although there are nine players in each lineup, plus the pitchers, neither the Dodgers nor the Yankees will be the last one standing without their stars continuing to do what they are doing.

The Price Of Victory | Mookie Betts Has Probably Spoken To Trevor Bauer For The Last Time

The Price Of Victory | Mookie Betts Has Probably Spoken To Trevor Bauer For The Last Time

Mookie Betts and many baseball fans around the country have one major thing in common: they have a ton of respect for Trevor Bauer’s accolades.

Forget the controversial social media posts regarding touchy subjects such as racism and political conspiracies.

Forget about the allegations of him using social media to harass women. Bauer is a Cy Young Award winner, and for some, that was all that mattered. 

Last February, as talk buzzed about the Dodgers signing Bauer, Betts said in an interview that getting a Cy Young Award winner “would be exciting.”

When asked about Bauer’s controversial past actions, Betts gave the human answer.

Bauer’s past didn’t worry him. At the time, he said he felt the Dodgers knew what they were signing up for. 

Bauer had the talent and the accolades to make so many willingly turn a blind eye to his poor character. Betts could have used that interview to acknowledge that Bauer was wrong, without necessarily chastising Bauer before the season even began.

However, Betts chose to simply state what was so painfully obvious already. 

The Dodgers wanted to win, and anyone who could help them win was a justified addition to the team.

 

 

No questions asked. Internet trolling was nothing more than that.

Controversial tweets posted in a shameless manner couldn’t possibly be a small reflection of someone’s character. It’s almost as if there was no reason for Betts, or anyone else on the team, to embrace Bauer as a new teammate while still acknowledging right from wrong. 

 

Fast forward to 2021, and the actions of Bauer have every member of the Dodgers organization tongue tied.

The star pitcher is currently under criminal investigation for sexually assaulting a woman, and the allegations are backed up by significant evidence. The Pasadena Police Department even admitted that this investigation is a lot bigger than what anyone initially thought. The highly decorated pitcher is now on leave, which was administered by Major League Baseball.

 

 

No active Dodgers player has spoken publicly about the new allegations or criminal investigation surrounding Bauer. There is no telling how Betts, or any other player in that locker room now feels about having Bauer as a member of the team.

 

 

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times :

Bauer’s career is in jeopardy, and his stay with the Dodgers could be over, the sexual-assault allegations having turned a pitcher in his prime into a pariah in his own clubhouse, where no teammate has spoken publicly about him or come to his defense. Two people with knowledge of Dodgers clubhouse dynamics, who are unauthorized to speak publicly about the situation, said that a majority of players do not want Bauer back under any circumstances.

 

Many members of the team, including Betts, have unfollowed Bauer on social media. Nevertheless, social media follows are all up for interpretation; either you read into them or you don’t. 

We might never get another quote from Betts about anything Trevor Bauer related. If not, there is no reason to hold Bett’s past comments over his head forever.

However, the words by Betts, along with the actions from the Dodgers organization in itself, highlight a common issue: so many people are too eager to let accolades be the justifying factor in giving an athlete the benefit of the doubt as it regards to their character.

No one would have guessed that the Dodgers would be in this situation after signing Bauer. It doesn’t change the fact that the point still stands. It is easier to get your past actions forgiven, or in Bauer’s case, completely ignored if you are an accomplished athlete. 

At the same time, the wheels of justice move slowly but they do move and eventually we will know the fate of Trevor Bauer.

 

Mookie Betts Goes To Bat For COVID-19 Vaccine In Los Angeles

Mookie Betts Goes To Bat For COVID-19 Vaccine In Los Angeles

If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Mookie Betts play in person, find comfort in knowing that there is a chance you might at least see the two-time World Series Champion in a grocery store near you. 

Last week, the Dodgers star spent time at a Ralph’s grocery store in downtown Los Angeles, where he urged people in the community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In addition to voicing his support for vaccination efforts in Southern California, Betts also took the time to thank front-line workers.

In an interview with CBS Los Angeles, Betts stated his motivation for urging people to get vaccines is that he simply wants the world to get back to normal.

 

 

For Betts to publicly advocate for vaccine efforts might come as a surprise to some people. Back in March, when vaccines were starting to become available, he originally stated that he wouldn’t comment on whether or not he had been vaccinated. For some, this raised questions on Betts’ stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

 

Regardless of whether or not Betts himself has or has been vaccinated, no one can debate that disclosing his decision is indeed a personal choice. Nevertheless, Betts’ tune these days, at least for the general public, is that vaccines can be the next step towards the life we knew before the pandemic began in 2020. 

So far, as it stands now, 51.1 percent of Los Angeles County residents are fully vaccinated. Of all 50 states, California is currently sitting at number 20 on the list of highest vaccination rates. With such high vaccination rates, Californians have been able to reap the benefits of life with less restrictions. For Dodgers fans, they’ve been able to sit in Dodger Stadium at full capacity since June 15, 2021. 

While Betts has openly advocated for people to get vaccinated, he isn’t the first MLBbro to voice his opinion on the COVID-19 vaccine. Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward openly expressed his desire to not get the vaccine due to personal reasons. 

 

 

Despite Heyward’s stance on getting the vaccine for himself, he cracked down on his opinion that more focus should be put on the safety protocols for the fans. While more MLB teams are allowing full capacity, Heyward noted that fans, unlike players, don’t get tested before coming to games. 

Heyward could very well have a point. When tens of thousands of people are packed in a stadium with no restrictions, that could be detrimental to the spread of COVID-19. However, one could say that the words of Heyward are exactly why Betts’ efforts are so impactful. In a world where we are now seeing restrictions lessened, Betts is ensuring that adequate attention is given to the health and safety of fans and other members of his community.