Apparently not everyone was impressed with Mookie Betts’ first speech to his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates.
If you’re a Dodgers fan, you have probably heard the story about Mookie Betts giving an inspirational speech to his teammates to begin Spring Training and set the tone for the upcoming season. Relief pitcher, and teammate from Boston, Joe Kelly, wasn’t as impressed as everyone else.
“For Mookie it was a big thing,” Kelly said on a Boston radio station podcast, “Me and DP (David Price) were looking at each other like — it was good. 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.”
Kelly then added, “It was kind of, once in a while, cringey. But then we all knew that his meaning behind it was accurate.”
Upon arriving at Spring Training, only weeks after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox, Betts requested time with his new teammates from manager Dave Roberts. Apparently, he then challenged the clubhouse to take every single day seriously in pursuit of a world championship.
“When you’re talking from the heart, people kind of get that sense and don’t take it [the wrong] way,” Betts was quoted about the speech.
David Price said at the time, ““I had never seen him do something like that before. That was something out of his comfort zone.”
The speech has been well chronicled with a Los Angeles Times headline on March 2 reading, “How newcomer Mookie Betts instantly became a clubhouse leader for the Dodgers.”
Whether Betts delivered a made-for-TV speech or directed his point in a less than inspirational tone, the underlying message remains. Whenever the 2020 season returns, the former MVP is ready to play with an urgency and try to lead the Dodgers to their first world championship since 1988.