Felger: Red Sox offered Mookie what he asked for, and were turned down

dano7594

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Jul 15, 2005
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Mookie is no doubt a generational talent. Just my opinion but for whatever reason he did not want to be here long term. I sincerely believe ownership and the FO knew this as well. When someone wants to be here longterm (Xander) they work things out.

Has this ownership group made mistakes, yes. With that being said name 3 owners in baseball that you would rather have? Since they have been here they have hired 4 GMs, (5 if you include Port) and 3 of them have won a World Series. We will see what Bloom does, but I have confidence in him.
 

Sille Skrub

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Color me skeptical on this one.

I'm going to need a better source than a radio guy who makes outrageous sports takes for ratings (albeit a really good one that I very much enjoy).
2. I doubt I'm forgiving ownership for this any time soon, EVEN if that is the case.

And before anyone is mad at me for #2, I doubt I'm alone. There's never going to be justification of this trade. Ever. Maybe in a world where the Tito and Lester fallout doesn't also happen.
You are definitely not alone. The Sox screwed the pooch on this one in a major way.

This move will ultimately hurt the popularity of the franchise for years to come.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Felger works for clicks, listens and hot takes, so he's not a trustworthy source and I don't believe him in this case entirely because it's him.

He's full of crap every single day, not sure why yesterday he's suddenly sincere.
 

Sille Skrub

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I lived in Boston for 12 years and now live in LA, have to disagree. LA is a great baseball town. Lakers and Dodgers rule everything, the rest is bandwagon.
I lived in California for a few years. Half of the Lakers fans I know became Warriors fans during their run.

It's a bandwagon sports town with amazing weather. Hell, if I grew up out there I probably wouldn't be into sports as much as I am.

Sports get us through the long, miserable winters out here.
 
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sodenj5

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Even if it’s true, who cares? Mookie isn’t coming back. It doesn’t make Mookie the bad guy. It also doesn’t make ownership completely free of blame.

Both parties did what they thought was best for them. In the end if it came down to Mookie not wanting to spend the next decade plus in Boston and preferring the West Coast for business and personal reasons, then that’s perfectly fine.

Also comparing Mookie to Bogaerts is irrelevant because Bogaerts wanted to stay here. He didn’t want to test out free agency, he didn’t want to play for another organization. That’s great, but it doesn’t change anything with Mookie, who made it very clear that he was always trying to make it to free agency and maximize his value.

He doesn’t owe Boston or Red Sox fans anything. I’m happy for him and I’m happy he’s continuing to do well. Life will continue on, just like it did when Nomar left, and when Pedro left, and when Ortiz retired.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Mentioned it back at the time, but I was told by somebody who knew Mookie that he enjoyed Boston, didn't have any problem with the pressure or the media or the city... but really hated the weather and just wanted to live somewhere more temperate if he could find the right situation... and obviously the Dodgers were that. Padres and Braves probably would've been too.

I'm also making this up, but I'd guess losing Cora also may have mean losing one last appealing asset for staying.

Fully admit this is all hearsay, but I'd say I do believe Mookie didn't want to resign in Boston, and don't blame ownership for the trade. Much as I hate it.
 

BigSoxFan

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Even if it’s true, who cares? Mookie isn’t coming back. It doesn’t make Mookie the bad guy. It also doesn’t make ownership completely free of blame.

Both parties did what they thought was best for them. In the end if it came down to Mookie not wanting to spend the next decade plus in Boston and preferring the West Coast for business and personal reasons, then that’s perfectly fine.

Also comparing Mookie to Bogaerts is irrelevant because Bogaerts wanted to stay here. He didn’t want to test out free agency, he didn’t want to play for another organization. That’s great, but it doesn’t change anything with Mookie, who made it very clear that he was always trying to make it to free agency and maximize his value.

He doesn’t owe Boston or Red Sox fans anything. I’m happy for him and I’m happy he’s continuing to do well. Life will continue on, just like it did when Nomar left, and when Pedro left, and when Ortiz retired.
Yup. Mookie was a great player for us but he's moved on and so have I. The team with the best player in the game can't even make the playoffs. It takes more than 1 guy in baseball. We'd all prefer to have Mookie but that ship has sailed and now it's time for Chaim to build the next great Sox team. He has the brains and the resources to do it. And I'm confident he will but it's going to be a bit lumpy for a bit. That's ok.
 

shaggydog2000

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So did Mookie turn down the offer he eventually signed with LA post-covid revenue downturn? Or did he turn down what he was "asking for" at the time? There is an enormous difference between those, isn't there?
 

Max Power

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Even if it’s true, who cares? Mookie isn’t coming back. It doesn’t make Mookie the bad guy. It also doesn’t make ownership completely free of blame.
If we accept that it's true that he didn't want to be here, what blame do you put on ownership? It seems like they played it perfectly. They moved him during a lost year and got some good talent in return.
 

Leather

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Historically, the hard truth is that most players come to, or stay in, places like Boston and New York (which I think we can all agree are among the best baseball towns from a fan's perspective) because the Yankees or Red Sox offer the most money, not because the fans are nuts for baseball. On the flip side, that also holds true for other teams. I don't see much evidence that the relative intensity of a fan base plays much of a part at all when it comes to players making their decision on where to play (though after they sign, it's a standard thing to say to ingratiate themselves with the fans). I also don't think climate has as much to do with it as it might for other sports, namely basketball*, because baseball is played in nice weather. I have never heard of a player turning down more money from the Twins, say, because it's cold here during the months they don't have to be here.

Obviously, every player is different, and when the money is about the same players have to base their decision on *something*, so being close to family, or weather, or the status of the farm system probably come into play here and there. And that's probably what happened with Mookie; he experienced the highs (2018) and lows (2019) and said "Ok, that was cool but I'm ok with moving on." It's only an odd situation because Boston was unwilling to blow open the market and offer more than what L.A. offered/was going to offer. Historically, that hasn't often been the case.

It is interesting that Boston, rightfully or wrongfully, is the only place I've ever heard rumors of players not wanting to play due to general racism (as opposed to specifically racist incidents, like Griffey swearing off the Yankees because of Steve Sax' son being allowed to be on the field but not him). Part of that is certainly played up as a result of general Boston fatigue but there's enough smoke there that there's probably some truth to it. But once again, I'd be interested to see examples of players turning down more money on that basis, as opposed to post-hoc justifications.

* This is compounded by max salaries, so an undesirable winter place like Minnesota or Milwaukee isn't even able to offer more money for marquee players.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If true I don't understand why the Red Sox would prefer the narrative be that they didn't want to pay him. That part of it makes no sense to me, and makes it sound like a Felger hottake based on whatever he thinks will play the best on his miserable radio show.

Personally I've been operating on the assumption that this was a financial decision, and based on that I'll never get over the fact that they traded him, even if logically I understand the reasons why they did. But, if Mookie just didn't want to be here no matter the price, that changes things significantly. I love Mookie and will always root for him but would be a lot less mad at the team if they knew there was no chance he was signing here regardless of the offer.
 

sodenj5

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If we accept that it's true that he didn't want to be here, what blame do you put on ownership? It seems like they played it perfectly. They moved him during a lost year and got some good talent in return.
I believe they allegedly lowballed him pretty significantly the prior two years, which is certainly within their rights to do, but that probably doesn’t help their case before finally coming with a market-level deal.

I don’t disagree with your point though. They had no reason to overpay before this season, and even so, I believe they still made the correct move.
 

RGREELEY33

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Mookie very clearly and openly said he was not going to re-sign before his free agency, and the rumors were always there that he had wanted to be on the west coast. There have been very few professional athletes that have played it that way, and then re-signed with their original team.

I don't think this is hard. Mookie wanted to be in California. Mookie is now, in California. And the Sox got 3 great prospects for him -- one of whom is already having great success in the big leagues. It was a win-win.
 

santadevil

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If true I don't understand why the Red Sox would prefer the narrative be that they didn't want to pay him. That part of it makes no sense to me, and makes it sound like a Felger hottake based on whatever he thinks will play the best on his miserable radio show.
I believe it's more of an ownership perspective to not look like whiners, or being petty (which didn't used to be the case)

Why say anything publicly at the time of the trade when they know a story like this will probably get out at some point in time and make them look like they tried

But like others said, I'm also happy to not hear the actual reason Mookie turned this down, unless it really was about the weather
 

54thMA

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This is not the first time any of us heard that Betts did not want to sign here.

Ok fine; it's his right to go wherever he wants to go; he doesn't like Boston/the weather/whatever, then fine, go sign and play wherever you want to, that's the whole point of free agency.

What I don't get is how is Red Sox management to blame here?

If he didn't want to sign here, how is that their fault?

Do they have any control over the fact that winters are cold and snowy here?

People seem upset over this now that he's front and center playing in the World Series doing his Willie Mays impression in right; if the Dodgers had a shitty year and did not make the playoffs, would people be upset about the trade?

I'm glad they traded him when they did and got a somewhat decent return, you're never going to get full value, they got what they could get, both parties moved on.

I suggest as fans we do the same.

Players come, players go, the names change on the back of the jersey but stay the same on the front.

Root for the name on the front and you'll be a lot happier.
 
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TheJodyReedExperience

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I moved to L.A. a dozen years ago -- I got here a few weeks after Manny did. So the Dodgers have always been a successful team. That said, they have a very devoted and committed fanbase. I think it's easy for people to undervalue the Mexican-American community's devotion to the team, especially post-Fernando. They show up and they are diehards. (I also think that "the fanbase sucks because they show up late and leave early" has some merit, but also sometimes feels like knocking Red Sox fans for leaving an extra inning game early because the last Green Line train is about to depart: it's a transportation issue more than a devotion one.)

Anyway, I lived in the northeast my whole life before moving out here -- grew up outside Boston and then lived in Somerville & Brighton for the back half of my 20s. It will always be my home. I have met a bunch of people out here who also lived in Boston. A bunch of them have the same emotional connection I do and think of Boston fondly. All of those people, like me, are white. I have also met a bunch of people who speak like they did time in Boston and couldn't wait to get out of there. All of those are people of color. Anecdotal and small sample size...but I think it would be good for folks in my hometown to contemplate why so many people of color feel the way they do about their experiences in the city.
Not the most substantive response, but just wanted to echo that the bolded is spot on for my experience while living in LA as well. I miss Boston, but I can't imagine feeling the same way were I not white.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Root for the name on the front and you'll be a lot happier.
I'm going to push back on this in a big way.

Sports are an emotional connection and construct. Yes, we root for the teams, but the teams are made of players, not faceless automatons. It's much easier to root for a team with fun, likable, good players with sound moral compasses than otherwise. David Ortiz was a great player because of his on-field exploits, but he was beloved because of his personality, his burning desire to win, and his strong connection with the Boston area. Curt Schilling was a great on-field player, but is almost universally loathed because of his personal beliefs and comments. On a more mundane level, Trevor Bauer is an excellent pitcher but he'd be tough to love because he's such an edgelord.

My point being it's not JUST the laundry. The players, who they are, matter, and they matter a lot. Mookie Betts was BELOVED in Boston. Not only was he a great player, one that we saw come up through the minors and establish himself as a top 5 player in baseball, but he's also by all accounts an amazing man. He's likable, he plays with enthusiasm, he burns to win, he's good-looking, he engaged in chairty work in the local community. He was in many ways Superman. He was our best player AND our best human.

To lose him, to trade him away for what the ownership described as financial reasons, hurt like hell. Rooting for the Red Sox has been a joy and a privilege over the last 20 years or so, but honestly the ownership asks more from fans than a lot of other teams do. Prices at the park are very, very high. NESN is expensive. Following the team is fun but it does require a commitment. The unspoken agreement between ownership and fans is that fans will support the team in this way and then ownership will spend the proceeds on the players to put a winner on the field. This spring, many fans, including myself, felt that that social contract had been breached because we traded away our best and most likable player in his prime over money.

So no, no one should root JUST for the name on the front. If the team brings in a bunch of assholes to play for them, there should be push back on that. If the team stinks on the field, there should be push back on that as well. If the team rolls in money and then claims poverty, there should be push back on that as well.

If there emerges proof that Mookie wanted out at all costs, then my lingering anger at the trade will subside. But a claim from Felger, noted shit-stirrer and radio prick, isn't proof. It's a rating grab.
 

Sille Skrub

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ETA: Outstanding post @Smiling Joe Hesketh
Not the most substantive response, but just wanted to echo that the bolded is spot on for my experience while living in LA as well. I miss Boston, but I can't imagine feeling the same way were I not white.
I think it's a fair point. There is no doubt that Boston has its racial issues. I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the worst major cities when it comes to race and race relations. Maybe things are amplified here because of how the city is laid out, population, or whatever.

However, racism is everywhere. It definitely plays a role in some guys not wanting to play in Boston and we've all heard the stories.

I absolutely do not think this was the case with Mookie Betts. He was very involved with the community and was out delivering pizzas to the homeless after a World Series game, for goodness sakes.
 

54thMA

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I'm going to push back on this in a big way.

Sports are an emotional connection and construct. Yes, we root for the teams, but the teams are made of players, not faceless automatons. It's much easier to root for a team with fun, likable, good players with sound moral compasses than otherwise. David Ortiz was a great player because of his on-field exploits, but he was beloved because of his personality, his burning desire to win, and his strong connection with the Boston area. Curt Schilling was a great on-field player, but is almost universally loathed because of his personal beliefs and comments. On a more mundane level, Trevor Bauer is an excellent pitcher but he'd be tough to love because he's such an edgelord.

My point being it's not JUST the laundry. The players, who they are, matter, and they matter a lot. Mookie Betts was BELOVED in Boston. Not only was he a great player, one that we saw come up through the minors and establish himself as a top 5 player in baseball, but he's also by all accounts an amazing man. He's likable, he plays with enthusiasm, he burns to win, he's good-looking, he engaged in chairty work in the local community. He was in many ways Superman. He was our best player AND our best human.

To lose him, to trade him away for what the ownership described as financial reasons, hurt like hell. Rooting for the Red Sox has been a joy and a privilege over the last 20 years or so, but honestly the ownership asks more from fans than a lot of other teams do. Prices at the park are very, very high. NESN is expensive. Following the team is fun but it does require a commitment. The unspoken agreement between ownership and fans is that fans will support the team in this way and then ownership will spend the proceeds on the players to put a winner on the field. This spring, many fans, including myself, felt that that social contract had been breached because we traded away our best and most likable player in his prime over money.

So no, no one should root JUST for the name on the front. If the team brings in a bunch of assholes to play for them, there should be push back on that. If the team stinks on the field, there should be push back on that as well. If the team rolls in money and then claims poverty, there should be push back on that as well.

If there emerges proof that Mookie wanted out at all costs, then my lingering anger at the trade will subside. But a claim from Felger, noted shit-stirrer and radio prick, isn't proof. It's a rating grab.
A good friend of mine, a life long Patriots fan, is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan because Brady left and signed with them.

He told me he no longer is a Patriots fan, he's done.

Sorry, that line of thinking makes zero sense to me.

Players come, players go, he's more a fan of Brady than the Patriots? What's he going to do when Brady retires, still be a Bucs fan?

I'm not saying you or anyone else shouldn't take a shine to certain players and become fans of THAT particular player and no, nobody wants to root for a team full of assholes, I'm not advocating that at all.

I am saying it's a case of misdirected anger to blame Red Sox ownership/management on this one IF in fact Betts did not want to sign here.

I've lived in Massachusetts all my life, I love it here, traveled all around the country, been to many cities and states; I love it here, THIS is home to me, I have zero desire to live anywhere else, period; if Betts wanted to play in California, then that's his right.

It's wrong to blame management for a player not wanting to play here.

As fans, we're all free to do what we want; if there are those who root for certain players above the entirety of the team, that's their right as a fan.

I don't fall in love with any player; they're leaving one way or another eventually, whether it be free agency, trade or retirement.

I think people would be a lot less upset if Betts wasn't front and center for the past few weeks, now playing in the World Series.

If the Red Sox had somehow gone on to win another World Series this year and the Dodgers had a bad year and didn't even make the playoffs, would we be having this discussion?

I'd venture to guess the answer would be no.

Just like I'm sure if the Patriots don't make the playoffs this year and Tampa Bay goes on to win a Super Bowl, fans will be screaming about how the Patriots/Belichick screwed up by letting Brady go.

The same organization that brought this city 6 Super Bowl wins.

People want to live in the moment and forget about the past pretty easily.

Just like the four World Series titles the current Red Sox management has brought to this city.

The same city that hadn't had one for 86 years prior to.
 

tims4wins

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A good friend of mine, a life long Patriots fan, is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan because Brady left and signed with them.

He told me he no longer is a Patriots fan, he's done.

Sorry, that line of thinking makes zero sense to me.

Players come, players go, he's more a fan of Brady than the Patriots? What's he going to do when Brady retires, still be a Bucs fan?

I'm not saying you or anyone else shouldn't take a shine to certain players and become fans of THAT particular player and no, nobody wants to root for a team full of assholes, I'm not advocating that at all.

I am saying it's a case of misdirected anger to blame Red Sox ownership/management on this one IF in fact Betts did not want to sign here.

I've lived in Massachusetts all my life, I love it here, traveled all around the country, been to many cities and states; I love it here, THIS is home to me, I have zero desire to live anywhere else, period; if Betts wanted to play in California, then that's his right.

It's wrong to blame management for a player not wanting to play here.

As fans, we're all free to do what we want; if there are those who root for certain players above the entirety of the team, that's their right as a fan.

I don't fall in love with any player; they're leaving one way or another eventually, whether it be free agency, trade or retirement.
The logic especially doesn't follow because why did he become a Brady fan to begin with? Because he played for the Patriots. Similar Papi. Or Pedro. Or Paul Pierce. Or Ray Bourque. Etc.
 

Ale Xander

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Logic doesn't work because Brady changed teams via free agency and Mookie was traded. Position (QB) also matters
 

Kliq

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I'm going to push back on this in a big way.

Sports are an emotional connection and construct. Yes, we root for the teams, but the teams are made of players, not faceless automatons. It's much easier to root for a team with fun, likable, good players with sound moral compasses than otherwise. David Ortiz was a great player because of his on-field exploits, but he was beloved because of his personality, his burning desire to win, and his strong connection with the Boston area. Curt Schilling was a great on-field player, but is almost universally loathed because of his personal beliefs and comments. On a more mundane level, Trevor Bauer is an excellent pitcher but he'd be tough to love because he's such an edgelord.

My point being it's not JUST the laundry. The players, who they are, matter, and they matter a lot. Mookie Betts was BELOVED in Boston. Not only was he a great player, one that we saw come up through the minors and establish himself as a top 5 player in baseball, but he's also by all accounts an amazing man. He's likable, he plays with enthusiasm, he burns to win, he's good-looking, he engaged in chairty work in the local community. He was in many ways Superman. He was our best player AND our best human.

To lose him, to trade him away for what the ownership described as financial reasons, hurt like hell. Rooting for the Red Sox has been a joy and a privilege over the last 20 years or so, but honestly the ownership asks more from fans than a lot of other teams do. Prices at the park are very, very high. NESN is expensive. Following the team is fun but it does require a commitment. The unspoken agreement between ownership and fans is that fans will support the team in this way and then ownership will spend the proceeds on the players to put a winner on the field. This spring, many fans, including myself, felt that that social contract had been breached because we traded away our best and most likable player in his prime over money.

So no, no one should root JUST for the name on the front. If the team brings in a bunch of assholes to play for them, there should be push back on that. If the team stinks on the field, there should be push back on that as well. If the team rolls in money and then claims poverty, there should be push back on that as well.

If there emerges proof that Mookie wanted out at all costs, then my lingering anger at the trade will subside. But a claim from Felger, noted shit-stirrer and radio prick, isn't proof. It's a rating grab.
I'd add that in baseball, which is typically played 162 days a year, having an individual player like Mookie that is basically with you every night adds greatly to the enjoyment of being a fan. Even if the team is bad, a player like Mookie is worth the price of admission, or worth dedicating three hours of a summer evening to, because he is special and a joy to watch. I think most people would say that the most enjoyable thing about being a sports fan is for the team to a win a championship; but I'd argue that being able to witness greatness night-in-and-night-out is almost as enjoyable.

Here is a question for older fans: The Red Sox win the 1967 World Series but immediately trade Yaz in the offseason. Do you make that trade?
 

54thMA

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I'd add that in baseball, which is typically played 162 days a year, having an individual player like Mookie that is basically with you every night adds greatly to the enjoyment of being a fan. Even if the team is bad, a player like Mookie is worth the price of admission, or worth dedicating three hours of a summer evening to, because he is special and a joy to watch. I think most people would say that the most enjoyable thing about being a sports fan is for the team to a win a championship; but I'd argue that being able to witness greatness night-in-and-night-out is almost as enjoyable.

Here is a question for older fans: The Red Sox win the 1967 World Series but immediately trade Yaz in the offseason. Do you make that trade?
Different set of circumstances; no free agency back then, so the team would have had to decide to trade him on their own vs the player telling the team no to a contract offer and him basically telling them he wanted to test the free agent waters.

We can go round and round on this, but the bottom line is if Betts did not want to sign here regardless of the contract offer, I don't know what the team was supposed to do, ie, he forced their hand to then trade him vs risk losing him to free agency and getting a draft pick instead.
 

Max Power

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I'd add that in baseball, which is typically played 162 days a year, having an individual player like Mookie that is basically with you every night adds greatly to the enjoyment of being a fan. Even if the team is bad, a player like Mookie is worth the price of admission, or worth dedicating three hours of a summer evening to, because he is special and a joy to watch. I think most people would say that the most enjoyable thing about being a sports fan is for the team to a win a championship; but I'd argue that being able to witness greatness night-in-and-night-out is almost as enjoyable.

Here is a question for older fans: The Red Sox win the 1967 World Series but immediately trade Yaz in the offseason. Do you make that trade?
It would be more like trading him after the 1968 season when the team finished 4th in the AL. By the time the team won 90 games again in 1975, he was no longer a great player.

It's really amazing how many people don't remember that Mookie played for the Red Sox in 2019 and the team wasn't good. The narrative is they went from 108 wins in 2018 to immediately dumping him.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It would be more like trading him after the 1968 season when the team finished 4th in the AL. By the time the team won 90 games again in 1975, he was no longer a great player.

It's really amazing how many people don't remember that Mookie played for the Red Sox in 2019 and the team wasn't good. The narrative is they went from 108 wins in 2018 to immediately dumping him.
But the 2019 Red Sox were still fun to watch because they had Mookie. If you're going to stink it helps as a fan to watch fun, likable players.
 

54thMA

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I'm going to let Bloom do his job and then in a few years, Verdugo, Downs and Wong will lead the Red Sox to yet another WS title while the Dodgers struggle under the weight of the Betts contract.

And if that does not happen, well, I can fondly look back on 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018.

As a long time Red Sox fan, it's such a problem to have.
 

Kliq

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Different set of circumstances; no free agency back then, so the team would have had to decide to trade him on their own vs the player telling the team no to a contract offer and him basically telling them he wanted to test the free agent waters.

We can go round and round on this, but the bottom line is if Betts did not want to sign here regardless of the contract offer, I don't know what the team was supposed to do, ie, he forced their hand to then trade him vs risk losing him to free agency and getting a draft pick instead.
We don't know that though, unless you believe Felger.

The point I'm making is that emotionally, as a baseball fan, would you in rather have had the victory of the Impossible Dream season, but no subsequent memories of Yaz and he goes into the Hall of Fame wearing an Athletics cap or something, or the current memories of no championship but a lifetime of Yaz and the Red Sox? The traditional line of thinking is that championships are placed above all else, but when you think about the realistic amount of enjoyment you get out of being a baseball fan, I'd argue that watching a legendary player for 20+ seasons is greater than just a championship.
 

LoweTek

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I don't pay any attention to the Felgers of the world. However, I completely accept and agree Mookie did not want to be in Boston. I doesn't really matter the reason, although it's likely the race issue played a part. Nobody doesn't love Mookie. He's arguably the best all around baseball player alive today. He sets a tremendous example for young players, has a combination of baeball instincts, both offensive and defensive, which are incomparable. He leads in the clubhouse and clearly loves the game he plays. The dude never stops smiling. He's the best thing to happen to baseball in a long time. I wish him only the best. He earned the prerogative of playing wherever he wanted to. Good on him. I don't blame anybody. It is simply what he wanted.
 

jon abbey

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Just because I'm not sure anyone else has said this in 80 posts, the talent level around him and stability of the organization around him had to be a factor for him signing long-term in LA so quickly. BOS has won 4 titles in 17 years but LA is in contention every year and looks like that will be the case for a while going forward.
 

VORP Speed

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Just because I'm not sure anyone else has said this in 80 posts, the talent level around him and stability of the organization around him had to be a factor for him signing long-term in LA so quickly. BOS has won 4 titles in 17 years but LA is in contention every year and looks like that will be the case for a while going forward.
He just didn’t want to be finishing third in his own division for the next 5 years. :oops:
 

GoJeff!

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ETA: Outstanding post @Smiling Joe Hesketh

I think it's a fair point. There is no doubt that Boston has its racial issues. I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the worst major cities when it comes to race and race relations. Maybe things are amplified here because of how the city is laid out, population, or whatever.

However, racism is everywhere. It definitely plays a role in some guys not wanting to play in Boston and we've all heard the stories.

I absolutely do not think this was the case with Mookie Betts. He was very involved with the community and was out delivering pizzas to the homeless after a World Series game, for goodness sakes.
I don't know Mookie's reasons, but I'd guess that racism in Boston is not the main factor.

The biggest difference between LA and Boston is how celebrities are treated. Sports stars in Boston have no escape--everyone is excited to see them, and there is no cultural sense giving people space. LA is the opposite end of the spectrum--you see famous people every day, sports stars in particular get less attention, and the culture tends towards leaving celebrities alone. If I was a sport star, this would be far and away the biggest reason for choosing LA.

In terms of racism, both cities have issues. There are more vibrant African American communities in LA, but I don't believe Mookie lives in one.
 

54thMA

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We don't know that though, unless you believe Felger.

The point I'm making is that emotionally, as a baseball fan, would you in rather have had the victory of the Impossible Dream season, but no subsequent memories of Yaz and he goes into the Hall of Fame wearing an Athletics cap or something, or the current memories of no championship but a lifetime of Yaz and the Red Sox? The traditional line of thinking is that championships are placed above all else, but when you think about the realistic amount of enjoyment you get out of being a baseball fan, I'd argue that watching a legendary player for 20+ seasons is greater than just a championship.
Which is why I said "if"..................

You raise an interesting scenario; winning the WS and seeing Yaz go on to another team after he literally put that team on his back and carried them to the WS (and as a lefty, I had the classic Yaz stance down pat, which I later changed when Fred Lynn came along...............;).........) vs seeing him perform day in and day out for roughly another 16 or so years.

Have to admit, that's a tough one.
 

54thMA

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Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Mookie prefers to be in LA rather than Boston. It's not the end of the world. It's not the Red Sox organization's fault. It's not your fault. It's not my fault. It's just the way Mookie feels. Good for him.
I don't know why more people don't think this way.

Simply put, people are trying to assign blame when there is none to assign.
 

bankshot1

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Or perhaps, Mookie post-trade, looked around and saw a few familiar faces that were part of his Sox teams that went to the post-season in 16, 17, 18, felt reasonably comfotable in LA (or at least ST) and after covid crashed the sports world and put serious doubts about teams spending in a covid, social distancing non-fan revenue world, made lemon-aide from LA's 12 year bag of lemons. Who was going to top that offer with revs down, and LA may have been one of his favored destination cities.

To say that Mookie projected a team that has been among one of the more competitive and successful teams over the past 5, 20 and 60 years, and among the handful of franchises considered MLB's elite franchises, was going to be out of contention for an extended period ot time seems wishful thinking. He took the money and ran. and signed.
 

jon abbey

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To say that Mookie projected a team that has been among one of the more competitive and successful teams over the past 5, 20 and 60 tears, and among the handful of franchises considered one of MLB's elite franchises, was going to be out of contention for an extended period ot time seems wishful thinking.
FWIW, VORP said this, I am not saying this, I think it's too hard to project specifically like that.

What I'm saying is that even as BOS has been incredibly successful winning titles, they have also only made the postseason 4 times in the last 11 years, and Mookie played through a bunch of those down seasons. I am also saying that BOS has turned over their management team a bunch of times in that period and that LA is a much more stable management situation. Maybe those facts did not factor in, maybe they did, I was just surprised that literally no one broached that before me.
 

SoxJox

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My point, which may have not been well stated, was that just because LA has outsold Boston the majority of the past 60 years has zero relationship to the quality of the which is why I included Toronto
There's something to be said about being able to swing your legs out of bed, sit up, and watch the game from your hotel bed.
 

EvilEmpire

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Felger says in that video "They offered what he asked. They offered a lot more than he asked. He turned it down".

Whatever Mookie's reasons for leaving, I really don't believe the Sox offered more than he asked for and were turned down. Unless maybe whoever told Felger that was referring to an offer and refusal from a few years ago. It doesn't sound right.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Felger says in that video "They offered what he asked. They offered a lot more than he asked. He turned it down".

Whatever Mookie's reasons for leaving, I really don't believe the Sox offered more than he asked for and were turned down. Unless maybe whoever told Felger that was referring to an offer and refusal from a few years ago. It doesn't sound right.
When you're trying to parse Mike Felger's words, you're engaged in a futile task. Essentially, while it may be true that Mookie wanted to leave Boston, I don't trust Mike Felger to have any inside information at all, much less information that he then sits on for months until dropping it as an October surprise.
 

Bergs

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Felger says in that video "They offered what he asked. They offered a lot more than he asked. He turned it down".

Whatever Mookie's reasons for leaving, I really don't believe the Sox offered more than he asked for and were turned down. Unless maybe whoever told Felger that was referring to an offer and refusal from a few years ago. It doesn't sound right.
Since we're all just making shit up here, I wonder if they did make such an offer, but made it clear they were going to have to shed payroll and embark on a rebuild for the next 2-3 seasons in order to do it. Might have factored into his decision-making. Who knows. I just love the guy, and am enjoying the WS more than I would otherwise.

On an unrelated note, I wish Vin Scully was still doing his thing; it would've been a lot of fun to hear him discuss Mookie night in and night out.
 

pk1627

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Edit: upon reflection, Mookie deserves to play wherever he wants.

I suspect he liked the team fine and didn’t really care about the weather. There are other issues about playing outfield in Boston.
 
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bankshot1

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FWIW, VORP said this, I am not saying this, I think it's too hard to project specifically like that.

What I'm saying is that even as BOS has been incredibly successful winning titles, they have also only made the postseason 4 times in the last 11 years, and Mookie played through a bunch of those down seasons. I am also saying that BOS has turned over their management team a bunch of times in that period and that LA is a much more stable management situation. Maybe those facts did not factor in, maybe they did, I was just surprised that literally no one broached that before me.

Before LA's come from behind series victory over the Braves, there was a lot of speculation about Dave Robert's future in LA. Mookie knew 2 managers in Boston, Farrell and Cora. LA had Mattingly and Roberts over the same time period. And if Roberts was on shaky ground... Seems a wash on that basis..

And an LA loss in the Braves series would have marked 30 years of not winning the WS in LA. You probably have a far better understanding of Mookie's state of mind than I do, and the degree of consternation he has about JWH ownership style, but perhaps he wanted to test FA, and then in a post-covid world with limited fan revs likely leading to belt-tightening and the ability to spend as in a pre-covid, fan filled stands world, he reassessed his options. Perhaps he did not try and predicted the Sox W-L record over the next 5 years.

Perhaps he put a lot of weight on 13 years, 392 million, and perhaps being the smiling face of one of the elite teams in baseball and one that has not won a WS in 30 years. And that might lead to superior marketing opportunities. Plus he hated candlepin bowling.
 

jon abbey

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Before LA's come from behind series victory over the Braves, there was a lot of speculation about Dave Robert's future in LA. Mookie knew 2 managers in Boston, Farrell and Cora. LA had Mattingly and Roberts over the same time period. And if Roberts was on shaky ground... Seems a wash on that basis..
I was thinking front office, Friedman has been running things in LA since 2014.

You probably have a far better understanding of Mookie's state of mind than I do, and the degree of consternation he has about JWH ownership style, but perhaps he wanted to test FA, and then in a post-covid world with limited fan revs likely leading to belt-tightening and the ability to spend as in a pre-covid, fan filled stands world, he reassessed his options.
Heh, obviously I don't know more than anyone (except probably Felger) and I'm really not trying to argue with you guys or piss you off, I basically agree with this entire paragraph. What I'm saying is that when he reassessed his options after the massive Dodgers contract offer, it is POSSIBLE that the Dodgers winning the division seven times in a row and with a ton of young talent going forward factored in to his assessment. This just seems like common sense to me, that's why I was surprised I was the first to mention it.
 

Strike4

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Wait - it was widely thought that the reason Mookie was traded was because of the luxury tax etc. and there were all kinds of leaks and sports radio segments devoted to alternately killing Sox or agreeing with them on this. What was the point of the leaks if they actually offered him what he wanted?
 

Humphrey

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Because McCourt was the owner and he was as despised in LA as Donald sterling.

I mean he was HATED here in LA.
They hated him so much attendance went down for the 3 years before he owned the club and the 5 or 6 afterwards?