Mookie Betts is a star, and David Price wants MLB to start treating him like it.
For some odd reason, the 2018 American League MVP isn't featured in any of MLB's commercials despite being an elite player in one of baseball's biggest markets. Price expressed his frustration with MLB's marketing of Betts -- or lack thereof -- to MassLive.com.
“OK, that’s a joke,” Price said. “I saw the Brewers first baseman [Jesús Aguilar] has a commercial on MLB Network. Great player. Great player. I love watching him play. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him from Travis Shaw and all those guys. But he’s not Mookie Betts. We’re trying to grow this game in the African-American community. Put that guy [Betts] on commercials. That’s how this game grows. MLB is probably the worst at marketing their players. They need to do a better job of that. We’ve talked about that to the union and [MLB commissioner] Mr. [Rob] Manfred many times."
MLB's lackluster marketing of its players has been a subject of criticism for a while now, with Angels star Mike Trout being the prime example of the league's shortcomings. But Price emphasized that the issue goes well beyond just Trout. There's an entire group of worthy players blatantly being overlooked.
“Market the African-American stars in baseball better,” Price said. “And the other players. Everybody. Market us better. Mookie Betts doesn’t have a single commercial. He’s one of the most marketable people in all of baseball. He plays for the Red Sox and he’s African American. Zero commercials. A very likable person. He could be the face of baseball. And zero commercials. He just won MVP. MLB just needs to step up."
Price's point is a valid one. There is no reason a player of Betts' talent and character shouldn't be promoted just as much if not more than players like Phillies star Bryce Harper, and that also goes for numerous other African-American stars around the league.
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