Dodgers right fielder/infielder(!) Mookie Betts returned to Fenway Park for the first time as an opposing player on Friday night. He would get a nice, well-deserved ovation before his first plate appearance and then help the Dodgers win the game, 7-4.
Here's the ovation:
It was nice to see Red Sox manager Alex Cora clapping along. There were obviously some "oo" sounds interspersed in there and we'll just assume it was at least 99 percent "Mookie" chants and one percent or fewer "boos" because only an utter clown would boo Mookie Betts in Boston.
A fun little nugget in this one was Alex Verdugo homered in the first inning for the Red Sox. Remember, he was one of the players the Dodgers traded to the Red Sox for Betts:
But the Dodgers would get the proverbial last laugh in this one. Betts went 1 for 4 with a double, walk and two runs scored. The Red Sox actually had a 3-0 lead going to the sixth inning and Betts' leadoff double started a three-run rally to tie the game. Betts would walk and score next inning as the Dodgers took the lead for good.
On the season, the MVP candidate Betts is hitting .309/.405/.604 with 35 doubles, 34 homers, 89 RBI, 107 runs and 10 steals. He leads the NL in WAR, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. In addition to playing his usual stellar defense in right field, he's been playing some at second base and even a little shortstop.
As a reminder, Betts spent the first six seasons of his career with the Red Sox. With them, he was a four-time All-Star while winning MVP and the World Series in 2018. He also won a World Series with the 2020 Dodgers and if he can secure the NL MVP this season, he'll join Frank Robinson as the only players in MLB history to win an MVP in both leagues. He was traded in the offseason following 2019 to the Dodgers along with David Price for Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong.