BEAT L.A. (The Gamethread)

Remagellan

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I honestly don't think he wanted to stay. No one will say that, including Mookie. Plus they are ignoring that he signed his deal after covid struck and made waiting for a huge deal in free agency more of risk than it was when the Sox traded Mookie.

I firmly believe if the Sox could have signed him to the deal that he agreed to with the Dodgers, they would have.
 

Deweys New Stance

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This is why I'm rooting big time against the Dodgers in this Series. According to the Fox announcers they've already been guaranteed a slot in the World Series every season for the duration of Mookie's 12-year deal. Just STFU already.
 

FisksFinger

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I honestly don't think he wanted to stay. No one will say that, including Mookie. Plus they are ignoring that he signed his deal after covid struck and made waiting for a huge deal in free agency more of risk than it was when the Sox traded Mookie.
I think he just really wanted to test the market (so less about wanting out of Boston but more about being a free agent). And yeah, once Covid struck free agency wasn’t so appealing anymore
 

Max Power

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This is why I'm rooting big time against the Dodgers in this Series. According to the Fox announcers they've already been guaranteed a slot in the World Series every season for the duration of Mookie's 12-year deal. Just STFU already.
No, no. They're only guaranteed 10 great years from him, according to Smoltz.
 

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Mookie Betts is one of two players in WS history to have two steals and a home run in a single game, joining Chase Utley. Both came in a Game 1. Both came against the Rays.
 

uncannymanny

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If the guy next to Buck knows anything, it's it doesn't matter how big your window is, because it's no guarantee you'll win more than one championship, if you're lucky enough to get even that.
Thank you. I was sitting here thinking the same, “is this guy fucking serious?”
 

jon abbey

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I was way behind watching this and maybe Sox fans are jaded from seeing him so much but Mookie might be the best baserunner (not stealer, clearly Rickey) I have ever seen. Live I could not believe how he got to home so quickly, it was a hard one-hooper right at Diaz and an accurate quick throw and still he beat it. Finally on the umpteenth replay they showed it was because he was impressively already 30 feet down the line, really incredible self-generated and crucial run there.
 

jon abbey

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Gonsolin starts game 2 for LA, on 2 days rest after 41 pitches in game 7, obviously a must win for TB with Buehler looming in game 3.

I was worried we might get a wave of injuries to some of these young arms with so few off days and the short rest outings but not so far, fingers crossed.
 

jon abbey

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TB really should have activated Wander, think they might regret that already.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The path for TB is to win all the bullpen games and steal one of the Kershaw/Buehler games. basically as thin a margin of error as the Braves had, but now the Dodger lineup is really in a groove.

and for the record I'm not jaded about Mookie, but FOX's coverage on him was so amateurish I just got agitated tonight. this is pretty much the same playoff run as 2018, bringing all those juicy intangibles that are just as valuable as the hits.
 

mauidano

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We were spoiled seeing Mookie for 7 years with Boston. The rest of the world continues to see or is seeing for the first time him shine on the biggest stage. He’s backing up the hype.
 

terrynever

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I was way behind watching this and maybe Sox fans are jaded from seeing him so much but Mookie might be the best baserunner (not stealer, clearly Rickey) I have ever seen. Live I could not believe how he got to home so quickly, it was a hard one-hooper right at Diaz and an accurate quick throw and still he beat it. Finally on the umpteenth replay they showed it was because he was impressively already 30 feet down the line, really incredible self-generated and crucial run there.
Mookie is similar to Willie Mays with his base running aggression and instincts. Willie was fast but by no means the fastest runner in baseball but he had some sweet instincts. His running motion was choppy, too, but he covered ground.

If Mookie can start looking over his shoulder while running full-speed, and losing his cap, the analogy will be complete.

By the way, comping anyone to Willie Mays is the highest praise available to old-time baseball fans. And I bet Willie enjoys watching Mookie in action.
 

BaseballJones

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"In April, Forbes valued the Rays at $1.05 billion and the Dodgers at $3.4 billion. The teams’ payrolls reflect that disparity: Before the pandemic prorated everyone’s salaries, Tampa Bay was due to spend about $72 million on players. Los Angeles would have spent $222 million.

The Rays’ only shot at a player like Betts would be to draft and develop him. Even if that happened, they would most likely have traded him once he started making real money. You don’t even need to leave the names on this page for an example: Friedman, who left Tampa Bay for L.A. after the 2014 season in part to give running a big-market team a shot, drafted and developed Price with the Rays. Price hit arbitration in ’13. He made $10 million that year. The next year, Tampa Bay sent him to the Tigers for prospects.

Six years later, Price’s big contract helped Friedman land Betts. The Dodgers extended him as soon as they got the chance. They will pay him $365 million over 12 years. The more they see him, the more they realize: That’s a bargain."


The article asks, "How did the Red Sox ever let this guy go?" This is such a painful thing, because he was my favorite player not named Pedro or Ortiz. But the Sox were in a financial crunch (yes largely of their own making), but people need to remember that they tried to extend Mookie too. He said no. He was looking for $400 million. He was looking to go to free agency, and said so. The ONLY way that the Sox could give him that money was to shed salary. The only practical way to do that was to...trade Mookie and then trust that he wasn't lying when he said he was going to go to free agency. And then, with the newfound financial space you just created, sign him to the huge deal. That was their only real play. They made it, and in the process, picked up some really nice players.

Then COVID hit. And the landscape changed. And suddenly, Mookie, who said he was going to go to free agency, and who was looking for $400 million, signed an extension before hitting free agency, and signed for well under $400 million.

We can blame the Sox for other moves (like extending Sale too soon, for example) that created their financial crisis, but remember: they did so coming off the greatest season the team ever had, and were trying to run it back with an elite core of players. It didn't work. And so from there, they did really the only sensible thing they could do. Then Mookie did the two things he had indicated he would NOT do, and the Dodgers look like geniuses, while the Red Sox look like fools.

Of course, it's easy to say NOW that Mookie's contract is a bargain. Nobody ever suggested that he wouldn't be great early in the contract. It's the back half that's going to be the problem, when he's 33 and is a step or two slower and his hands aren't quite as quick and his arm isn't quite as strong. And he's making $32+ million a year. Will the Dodgers look like geniuses then?

Maybe.

Maybe not.
 

BaseballJones

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On Kershaw... so interesting and it shows how much the game has changed. He was at just 78 pitches through six innings, with this line:

6.0 ip, 2 h, 1 r, 1 er, 0 bb, 8 k

He had an 8-1 lead. The next day you KNOW is a bullpen game, so your relievers - who had to work really hard the previous series - were all likely going to be needed the next day. In the 6th, he had retired Tampa 1-2-3 on just 9 pitches, so he wasn't laboring at all.

And yet they pulled him. Not that long ago, that would have been considered insane. But now, it's normal, and a 6-inning stint is considered to be "dominant".

Baseball is crazy now.
 

joe dokes

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On Kershaw... so interesting and it shows how much the game has changed. He was at just 78 pitches through six innings, with this line:

6.0 ip, 2 h, 1 r, 1 er, 0 bb, 8 k

He had an 8-1 lead. The next day you KNOW is a bullpen game, so your relievers - who had to work really hard the previous series - were all likely going to be needed the next day. In the 6th, he had retired Tampa 1-2-3 on just 9 pitches, so he wasn't laboring at all.

And yet they pulled him. Not that long ago, that would have been considered insane. But now, it's normal, and a 6-inning stint is considered to be "dominant".

Baseball is crazy now.
And if that line drive hits the pitcher instead of the inside of his glove Roberts would be answering some questions.
 

jon abbey

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Also Kershaw specifically always loses it in the sixth or seventh of postseason starts if not pulled quickly.
 

BaseballJones

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Also Kershaw specifically always loses it in the sixth or seventh of postseason starts if not pulled quickly.
Right, but with an 8-1 lead, you can live with him giving up a couple of baserunners. It wasn't 2-1.

(and of course, the reliever they brought in promptly gave up 2 runs in the 7th...not that Roberts would have been able to foresee that)
 

VORP Speed

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If you want Bloom to successfully remake the Red Sox in the image of the Rays, except with some money (so maybe remake them in the image of the Dodgers if that makes you feel better).....fans should get used to ignoring inane and ignorant media commentary
 

Max Power

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On Kershaw... so interesting and it shows how much the game has changed. He was at just 78 pitches through six innings, with this line:

6.0 ip, 2 h, 1 r, 1 er, 0 bb, 8 k

He had an 8-1 lead. The next day you KNOW is a bullpen game, so your relievers - who had to work really hard the previous series - were all likely going to be needed the next day. In the 6th, he had retired Tampa 1-2-3 on just 9 pitches, so he wasn't laboring at all.

And yet they pulled him. Not that long ago, that would have been considered insane. But now, it's normal, and a 6-inning stint is considered to be "dominant".

Baseball is crazy now.
He would have come back out if the Dodgers didn't have such a long time at bat in the 6th. It would have been half an hour between pitches for him, so they just threw their low leverage guys out there to mop up instead.
 

54thMA

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"In April, Forbes valued the Rays at $1.05 billion and the Dodgers at $3.4 billion. The teams’ payrolls reflect that disparity: Before the pandemic prorated everyone’s salaries, Tampa Bay was due to spend about $72 million on players. Los Angeles would have spent $222 million.

The Rays’ only shot at a player like Betts would be to draft and develop him. Even if that happened, they would most likely have traded him once he started making real money. You don’t even need to leave the names on this page for an example: Friedman, who left Tampa Bay for L.A. after the 2014 season in part to give running a big-market team a shot, drafted and developed Price with the Rays. Price hit arbitration in ’13. He made $10 million that year. The next year, Tampa Bay sent him to the Tigers for prospects.

Six years later, Price’s big contract helped Friedman land Betts. The Dodgers extended him as soon as they got the chance. They will pay him $365 million over 12 years. The more they see him, the more they realize: That’s a bargain."


The article asks, "How did the Red Sox ever let this guy go?" This is such a painful thing, because he was my favorite player not named Pedro or Ortiz. But the Sox were in a financial crunch (yes largely of their own making), but people need to remember that they tried to extend Mookie too. He said no. He was looking for $400 million. He was looking to go to free agency, and said so. The ONLY way that the Sox could give him that money was to shed salary. The only practical way to do that was to...trade Mookie and then trust that he wasn't lying when he said he was going to go to free agency. And then, with the newfound financial space you just created, sign him to the huge deal. That was their only real play. They made it, and in the process, picked up some really nice players.

Then COVID hit. And the landscape changed. And suddenly, Mookie, who said he was going to go to free agency, and who was looking for $400 million, signed an extension before hitting free agency, and signed for well under $400 million.

We can blame the Sox for other moves (like extending Sale too soon, for example) that created their financial crisis, but remember: they did so coming off the greatest season the team ever had, and were trying to run it back with an elite core of players. It didn't work. And so from there, they did really the only sensible thing they could do. Then Mookie did the two things he had indicated he would NOT do, and the Dodgers look like geniuses, while the Red Sox look like fools.

Of course, it's easy to say NOW that Mookie's contract is a bargain. Nobody ever suggested that he wouldn't be great early in the contract. It's the back half that's going to be the problem, when he's 33 and is a step or two slower and his hands aren't quite as quick and his arm isn't quite as strong. And he's making $32+ million a year. Will the Dodgers look like geniuses then?

Maybe.

Maybe not.
Great post, a lot of solid points.

This ownership did something I thought would never happen in my lifetime; win a World Series championship.

Then they did it three more times.

The Red Sox tried to extent Betts, he said no, he wanted to test free agency, which is his right.

He landed in LA, supposedly "fell in love with LA", then signed a mega extension.

Again, that's his right.

People need to face the facts; he did not want to stay here. If he did, he would have worked something out. For whatever reason, he did not want to stay.

The Red Sox as you pointed out, tried to keep the band together after the 2018 season and win another championship, it did not work out, but they tried.

Seems like no matter what they did, someone would find fault with it; if they let players walk/did not extend them, they are wrong, if they resigned players/extended players, they are wrong.

Sometimes you can't win for trying.

Sorry, .I root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back, players come and go, but the team is here forever, from Lynn to Fisk to Burleson to Eckersley to Clemens to Boggs to Vaughn to Nomar to Pedro to Damon to Ellsbury to Betts....................player leave/get traded, the team goes on.

Been a Red Sox fan since 1966, it's the team I root for, not the individual players, players come, players go.

If Betts/the Dodgers win the next 12 World Series in a row, then so be it, what's done is done, good for you Mookie, enjoy your time in LA.
 

54thMA

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of course everything looks rosy right now, in his prime, and making series-changing plays in the NLCS.
For a team that hasn't won a World Series in 30 years, it's money well spent.

As usual, the average fan could give a shit less about how that contract on the back end is going to be a disaster, a World Series win is all they care about.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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He would have come back out if the Dodgers didn't have such a long time at bat in the 6th. It would have been half an hour between pitches for him, so they just threw their low leverage guys out there to mop up instead.
I don't think that's right. Their big long inning was the 5th. Kershaw waited a half-hour between pitching, came out and retired the side on 9 pitches.

The Dodgers did score two more in the 6th inning, but I think they only saw 12 pitches that inning (if the play-by-play I'm looking at is right, the damage was done that inning by swinging at 1st pitches). I can't imagine that half-inning also took 30 minutes.