Although the Mookie Betts trade still leaves a painfully bitter taste in Boston Red Sox fans' mouths, the only reaction they were going to give their returning hero was one of complete gratitude and adoration. And that is exactly the scene that erupted in the stands at Fenway Park when the Los Angeles Dodgers star stepped up to the plate against his former team for the first time since being traded in 2020.
That special moment was available for all Red Sox fans to see, just as long as they had a subscription to Apple TV. Hey, who needs shame, right? In any case, this day has been circled on calendars in Boston homes all season long. Betts earned an MVP and World Series title in 2018, put together three other All-Star seasons, won four Gold Gloves and flashed an upbeat personality en route to becoming one of the most beloved players in franchise history. The end of this historic run was not as dazzling, however.
"Now batting, number 50, Mookie Betts."
— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2023
With the 30-year-old returning to Boston, debates have been resurfacing over the failed contract negotiations between Mookie Betts and the organization. A $300 million deal was reportedly offered, but even today he will not confirm nor deny the number. The two-time champion reiterates, though, that he wanted to stay with the Red Sox.
Ultimately, Betts signed a 12-year, $364 million contract with LA and immediately went on to help the franchise end a 32-year championship drought. Now, he is enjoying possibly the best season of his career with a second MVP crown potentially in reach.
All of these accolades just serve as gasoline for a Red Sox fan base that has grown increasingly impatient with management. Though, such conflicts are not usually cut and dry. The baseball world may never truly learn what exactly led to the breakdown in talks years ago, but at this point it's irrelevant.
Boston cannot afford to rehash old drama. The club is three-and-a-half games out of the final American League Wild Card slot and must show up against the Dodgers this weekend. Even with postseason implications on the line, though, the Fenway Faithful will make the time to send a heartfelt thank you or two in No. 50's direction.