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Mookie Betts receives warm welcome in his return to Fenway

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Whether or not Mookie Betts wanted to remain in Boston following the 2019 season is up for debate.  There have been rumors that he was set on leaving regardless of what was offered to him.  The former MVP and two-time World Series champion recently said himself that he wanted to stay but the negotiations didn’t go the way he had wanted:

“I don’t know where the narrative came from or how it came about,” Betts said. “But if that’s what makes you sleep at night, cool. That’s not even remotely close to where I was mentally. I thought I would be here, but the negotiations didn’t go the way we planned.”

It’s impossible to know exactly what Mookie’s intentions were as well as those of Red Sox upper management.  What we do know almost four years later is that the Sox inarguably lost that trade and Mookie certainly doesn’t have any regrets about the way things have played out.  He’s a superstar in Los Angeles, perhaps even more so than he was in his six seasons in Boston.  Just a few weeks ago, a Dodgers fan grabbed Betts’ attention while he was in the on-deck circle and told him that he would make his daughter’s middle name “Mookie” if he hit a home run.  Guess what happened?

Despite both parties going in separate directions, the mutual adoration from Mookie and Red Sox fans is alive and well, and likely always will be.  This was evident this past weekend when the Dodgers were in town, marking Betts’ first appearance at Fenway since he was traded for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong just before the pandemic.  He received multiple standing ovations throughout the three-game series, the loudest coming during his first at-bat on Friday night:

Betts then continued to add to his candidacy for a second MVP award, collecting seven hits over the weekend and leaving with a .313 average with 35 homers, 91 RBI’s, and a Major League leading 1.010 OPS.

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