Red Sox

Red Sox star Mookie Betts shuts down notion he doesn't like Boston

Red Sox star Mookie Betts shuts down notion he doesn't like Boston

The next Major League Baseball superstar to break the bank with a record-setting contract could be Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.

The 26-year-old veteran is a World Series champion, an American League MVP winner, a four-time AL All-Star and has taken home AL Gold Glove awards in three consecutive seasons. Betts is a five-tool player and an ideal star to have as the face of a franchise.

Despite all of that, there are still questions -- fair or unfair -- about his affinity for Boston and whether he'll re-sign with the Red Sox when his contract expires after the 2020 season.

Betts, speaking on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" afternoon show Tuesday, shut down the notion that he doesn't like Boston.

“No matter what I say, people are going to have their opinions and there's nothing you can do about that," Betts said. "But I've made it known this is my second home. I've been here, this is all I know. I’ve loved it here. I love the fans, everybody -- my teammates, front office, everybody here. That doesn’t change the business of baseball and what value is there.

"I don’t want to go down that path, but for people who don't think I enjoy it here, I love it here. I come here in the winter time just to come hang out with friends and whatnot. My family loves coming up here and going to do things. It’s not that I don’t like Boston at all.”

Betts has every right to consider any and all offers if he reaches free agency. The market for MLB free agents was pretty rough for a lot of players last winter, but most of the elite players still got paid in a huge way. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper signed $300 million and $330 million contracts, respectively, and neither player is as talented as Betts. Barring an injury or some unforeseen dip in performance, it wouldn't be too surprising if Betts became the highest-paid player in MLB history with his next deal.

It also would behoove the Red Sox to lock up Betts to an extension ASAP, but it takes two sides to make a deal. Betts has made it clear he likes Boston, and at some point he'll have to decide if it's where he'll spend most of his professional career.

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Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

You've probably heard about Mookie Betts' speech by now.

Shortly after the Boston Red Sox traded Betts to Los Angeles, the publicly soft-spoken outfielder stood up in the Dodgers' clubhouse and "essentially call(ed) everyone out," according to third baseman Justin Turner.

By all accounts, the content of Betts' speech was well-received. But Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly -- who was teammates with Betts in Boston before joining L.A. in 2019 -- offered some interesting insight on his delivery.

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"Me and DP (David Price) were looking at each other like -- it was good," Kelly told WEEI's Rob Bradford on "The Bradfo Show" podcast. "It was meant to go the right way, honestly. He's not very -- I don't know how to put it. He speaks well, but then when he has to plan something and speak in front of people he wasn’t too comfortable with, I think he was getting ahead of himself.

"The meaning behind what he was saying was very I think spot on, but I think the way he was saying it was kind of tough."

Betts never was a vocal leader in Boston -- he didn't need to be with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the clubhouse -- and Kelly suggested that showed in the 27-year-old's speech, which perhaps was a little blunt for some.

"It was very well accepted. If he would have said it a little bit nicer or articulated it a little bit better, it would have come off stronger," Kelly said.

"It was kind of, once in a while, cringey. But then we all knew that his meaning behind it was accurate."

Cringey in what way, you ask?

"Some people need to have their hand held the whole time and some people need the, 'eff you;' some people need the, 'You are so good, just believe in yourself' kind of statement," Kelly explained. "And Mookie went the direct path, the direct route in front of 40 people."

Kelly reiterated that Betts got his point across loud and clear: That the Dodgers are the most talented team in baseball and shouldn't squander that talent.

The former American League MVP still is finding his footing as a leader, though, and according to Kelly, that manifested itself on one of his first days as a Dodger.

Report: MLB doesn't want notes from Red Sox investigation used in court

Report: MLB doesn't want notes from Red Sox investigation used in court

As we await Major League Baseball's report on the Red Sox alleged sign-stealing from their 2018 championship season, MLB revealed in court documents that it does not want the notes from its interviews with Red Sox and Houston Astros personnel used in a current trial involving those allegations.

MLB investigator Bryan Seeley argued in a court filing this week that future investigations could be jeopardized if the league reveals details of those interviews, Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports. MLB is being sued by daily fantasy game contestants who argue that the Red Sox' and Astros' schemes corrupted the games.

A decision on the case is expected by April 15. MLB has already disciplined the Astros and it led to the firing of their manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora for what ownership said was his role in the Astros transgressions.  

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred gave Astros players who cooperated with MLB investigators immunity from his discipline. It's uncertain if the same holds true for Red Sox players. Manfred said last week a report on the Red Sox allegations - delayed by the coronavirus outbreak - would be released before the now-delayed baseball season begins.