The Boston Red Sox lost an MVP-caliber talent in outfielder Mookie Betts.
But they also lost a strong leader in the clubhouse.
Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom Betts addressed for the first time in a recent team meeting after his trade from Boston earlier this month.
According to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, Betts' speech to the clubhouse was reminiscent of Kirk Gibson, who chewed out his Los Angeles teammates and demanded a new level of excellence when he joined the team as a free agent in 1988.
Except Betts delivered his message without putting anyone on blast.
"When you stand up in front of the team on the first day and essentially call everyone out, says he wants to hold everyone accountable for their effort -- not just in the game, but in the workouts -- that’s like, all right, you learn what he’s about really fast,” said Turner said Sunday of Betts, via MLB.com's Ken Gurkick.
"Same principle [as Gibson’s speech], just not critical of us. This was him saying this before he knew anybody. Just signs of leadership, it jumps out at you."
Betts' passion surprised Turner, who took the 27-year-old outfielder for the quiet type.
"Just kind of assumed he was a quiet guy who goes about his business," Turner said. "Then Day One, you realize you were way off. He was proactive, let’s get in front of this -- Day One is as urgent as Game 7 of the World Series. It was awesome, actually."
Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez used the same adjective after hearing Betts' speech.
"It was awesome," Hernandez told Gurkick. "It was, 'this is how I play the game,' and I respected the heck out of him for that."
Betts had made strides as a leader in Boston since David Ortiz retired in 2016, setting an example with his play but also holding his teammates accountable. The Dodgers will need that accountability this season as they attempt to live up to massive expectations as clear World Series favorites.
As for Betts' work on the field, he went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly Sunday in his Dodgers spring training debut.