Mookie Betts is taking the NL MVP race down to the wire with Ronald Acuña Jr. as the two players star for the best teams in the NL. The Atlanta Braves own the league's best record and the top seed heading into the playoffs and the Los Angeles Dodgers are right on their tail with the second-best record in the NL and second-best offense in MLB.
Many debates have dragged on about the validity of both players' MVP cases and a lot of fans are missing the larger point. Both of these players could come out on top with the most votes and it wouldn't matter. They're putting together equally unique seasons, whether you believe so or not.
Betts playing elite defense at three different positions doesn't make him a unicorn, and neither does a 40-home run and 70-stolen base campaign do the same for Acuña (who also very clearly got a massive edge from the enlarged bases, since his previous career high in stolen bags was 37 back in 2019).
The real spectacle is that Betts and Acuña are doing this at the same time. It's an MVP race for the ages, and any vitriol should be removed from the discussion. If you're willing to drag down another great player and stand up individual just because you think the guy on your team should get the most votes from a bunch of writers, then you're very much a lost soul in need of a cleanse.
Too bad for the Braves fans looking for a fight, though, because Betts just counteracted it all with the best possible response to anything MVP-related. If a World Series is all that matters to him, then "losing" the MVP to an equally deserving candidate might not even cross his radar.
Mookie Betts just silenced Dodgers vs Braves fans NL MVP debate with Ronald Acuña
Can't win a debate if there's nobody on the other side! Betts essentially withdrawing from the discourse to shift the focus to the Dodgers winning a title during a full 162-game campaign is the silent knockout punch this topic needed.
Individual accolades are nice and all, but perhaps anybody fighting over the eventual MVP winner isn't seeing the bigger picture. An early playoff exit makes everybody forget about end-of-season awards. Think about it. Gerrit Cole is the AL Cy Young favorite and is probably going to win, but the New York Yankees are going to miss the playoffs. Do you think Cole is satisfied? How about unforgiving Yankees fans?
How about last year when Aaron Judge won MVP? Remember the boos raining down on Yankee Stadium when the Bombers were embarrassed in the ALCS against the Houston Astros?
Betts' head is in the right place, and Dodgers fans know what he's saying is genuine. He's the consummate team player and has put his selflessness on display this season by becoming a Swiss Army knife for manager Dave Roberts as the highest-paid player on the roster.
That'll make it even more satisfying if Betts wins the award and Braves fans waste their time on social media clipping the Dodgers star saying the award is "irrelevant." You can already envision it come December.