Mookie Betts: Best players have responsibility to play, not be brand ambassadors for MLB

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “I’m not really here to be the face of anything. I just want to win some rings and keep it moving. If I am, then cool. I’ll embrace it. But if not, then that’s fine too. My responsibility is to show up and lead off for the Dodgers every day.”Betts does feel a responsibility to his community — something that has nothing to do with his place in the game. The 27-year-old was well known for his charitable efforts in Boston and his hometown, Nashville, showing up with food for the homeless with no fanfare. During quarantine, Betts showed up at his local grocery store, bought groceries for several customers and pizza for the workers.It’s just “how I was raised,” Betts said.“Life is bigger than baseball,” he added. “Baseball is just for a short period of time. There is so much more to life. God blessed me with everything that I have. So I’d just like to share what I have with everyone else. Making other people happy makes me happy.”Betts will continue his good works in his new home Sunday. The Dodgers Foundation, Pull Up Neighbor (a community-response organization) and Betts will join together for a “grab-and-go giveaway” in Compton. The event will provide free hand sanitizer, face masks and food boxes as well as health screenings and voter registration.“This is my home now,” Betts said. “L.A. is my home now. So I definitely want to make an impact here.”SMITH STATUSCatcher Will Smith was available only for emergency duty again Friday as he deals with a stiff neck caused by a collision at home plate last week. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there has been “mild improvement” since Smith aggravated the injury on Wednesday. It is possible Smith could end up on the injured list.“Will hasn’t done anything moving around baseball-wise,” Roberts said. “He’s day to day but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that (a move to the IL) could happen.”GONSOLIN STARTRight-hander Tony Gonsolin has not given up a run in two spot starts. He could make another start in the next week if he’s not needed in the bullpen first.“We haven’t decided on a day because things can happen,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to put him in a box because we might need his services. If we don’t have to call on him, he’ll certainly make a start next week.”Related Articles ANAHEIM — The sport’s two best players — and two of the most well-paid in its history — will be on the field together in Anaheim this weekend.But Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts are playing in relative anonymity when it comes to national profiles, big-brand endorsements and Q ratings. Seemingly any NFL quarterback and half of the starting players in the NBA have bigger “brands” and certainly a greater social media presence than either Trout or Betts.MLB doesn’t seem to know how to market its best players, a fact emphasized two years ago when Commissioner Rob Manfred seemed to put the blame on Trout for not marketing himself better.“Mike’s a great, great player and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions about what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really, really big. But he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.” Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Having moved from one iconic franchise, Boston, to another in an even bigger, star-centric market, Betts said he feels no responsibility to put himself out there as “the face” of MLB any more than Trout should.“I don’t think there are any responsibilities (that come with being the best player and one of the most well-paid in the sport),” Betts said Friday. “Mike can do what he wants. If he wants to be the face then he can be the face. He’s already the best player so I don’t think he has to do more to be the face. I think he can just be who he wants to be.“Us as people, we can be who we want to be. If somebody wants to be more vocal, then let them be more vocal. If they don’t, then they don’t. I don’t feel there’s a responsibility there at all.”Betts acknowledged that their stature in the game provides “an opportunity” and a platform. But it’s not one that requires them “to do anything they don’t want to do.”“Yeah, it’s an opportunity. But you don’t have to take your opportunity,” Betts said. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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