A content material Mookie Betts has closed the e-book on his time in Boston. Purple Sox followers aren’t as lucky.

Purple Sox

“The chapter I am in proper now — I am having fun with it a lot. I find it irresistible a lot. I would not commerce it for the world.”

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mookie Betts (50) tips his cap as he receives a standing ovation from the fans during the first inning. The Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 25, 2023 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.
Mookie Betts made his return to Fenway Park on Friday. Barry Chin/Globe Employees

COMMENTARY 

There have been no surprises to be discovered at Fenway Park on Friday evening.

As he’s executed all through his decade-long tenure thus far within the huge leagues, Mookie Betts etched his title all around the field rating. The five-tool celebrity doubled, scored two runs, and uncorked a rally-ending howitzer from proper area in his first recreation in Boston in 1,425 days.

As Alex Cora predicted, a sellout crowd at Fenway Park welcomed Betts again to Boston with a thunderous ovation — prompting a tip of the helmet and a salute to a fanbase he routinely lifted out of these picket grandstand seats with a run-robbing catch in proper or a timely blast into the Monster seats. 

And as they’ve executed all season lengthy, the 2023 Purple Sox squandered no matter momentum they carried into a press release contest because of self-inflicted miscues and logic-defying gaffes. 

The whole lot that performed out in Betts’ anticipated return adopted the script all of us anticipated.

From the day the 2023 schedule dropped, August 25 was poised to be a day of reckoning for a Purple Sox group left largely rudderless since deciding to ship their homegrown franchise star out west.

The revelry that poured out from the stands as Betts strode as much as dwelling plate stood in stark distinction to the gloomy mist that hovered over the ballpark all evening.

Granted, it was a becoming canvas for Friday’s festivities, with the Fenway Devoted’s collective cheers rooted in each appreciation and melancholy — grateful for all Betts had achieved in a Purple Sox uniform, and pained by the sight of him in Dodger blue.

For some Purple Sox followers, Friday opened outdated wounds.

It’s a painful train that has been carried out time and time once more since Betts first placed on an L.A. cap in February 2020. It’s destined to be repeated many times till Boston fields a sustainable, contending roster.

However because the wheels proceed to churn for Boston followers searching for any semblance of salvation for the long run, Betts’ path has lastly come full circle.

And now he’s prepared to maneuver on.

“It’s enterprise. Either side gonna maintain themselves and so generally it is probably not in one of the best curiosity for each. However it’s what it’s,” Betts stated of Boston buying and selling him. “I don’t know if it was or wasn’t. However that’s not the place we are actually.

“I’m carrying an L.A. jersey, acquired two youngsters, acquired a manufacturing firm, acquired podcasts, I acquired quite a lot of issues happening in my life now … I’m tremendous glad the place I’m at. I’m very blessed and really glad. I’m at peace with my life now. … It’s a little bit bit simpler to say, ‘Wow, that was tremendous cool. However that’s not even remotely near who you are actually.’ So there’s no sense in attempting to attract a parallel.”

For the entire strain that is available in a market like Boston, Betts thrived off of it.

That scrutiny saved Betts on a linear path towards success, evolving from a fresh-faced, 21-year-old rookie right into a perennial MVP candidate throughout his time with the Purple Sox.

“I knew daily I put the uniform on, you’ve acquired to play effectively, it doesn’t matter what. The media, the followers, the individuals will let you already know,” Betts stated of enjoying in Boston. “That’s the blessing. That’s the great half. That’s what I take pleasure in a lot. It’s virtually like a concern of listening to what individuals needed to say. It’s sort of what drove me to achieve success.”

However at 30, the burden not falls on Betts to show himself.

One of many few unquestioned faces of baseball in 2023, Betts has relished the alternatives obtainable in his new dwelling in Los Angeles.

Past the varied media ventures readily available in that market, Betts lastly feels snug in his personal pores and skin, not the guarded celebrity who let his play do many of the speaking with the Purple Sox.

“I do know individuals are saying he’s happier over there,” Alex Cora stated of Betts’ transfer to Los Angeles. “I feel he’s extra relaxed over there. Not successful to the tradition over there, however extra relaxed. I performed there, I performed right here. I understand how it really works. … I do know why it’s totally different. However on the finish of the day, they’re very profitable. He’s a part of what they’ve completed.”

It ought to come as no shock {that a} powerhouse franchise just like the Dodgers has managed to maintain their profitable methods since Betts made it to city.

Together with serving to the Dodgers win their first World Collection in 32 years throughout the 2020 season, Betts has batted .282 with a .912 OPS, with 108 dwelling runs and 268 RBI over 439 profession video games together with his new group.

For the entire considerations over whether or not or not Betts was going to be well worth the 12-year, $365 million mega-deal he inked with the Dodgers, he’s already amassed a 20.9 WAR over his 4 years together with his new group. He’s on his method to securing his second profession MVP award, and first in a Dodgers jersey.

Whereas Betts nonetheless dominates, the Dodgers have adopted up their title season with two extra 100-win seasons. At 79-48, Dave Roberts and Co. are effectively on their method to carrying out the feat as soon as once more this fall.

As Betts basks within the current, Purple Sox followers discover solace within the glory days previous — and attempt to search consolation sooner or later.

Past their spectacular run to the ALCS in 2021, the Purple Sox have posted two last-place finishes since Betts was dealt away. They presently sit in fourth place this 12 months in a cutthroat AL East.

Constructing a bedrock of success with high-ceiling kids like Brayan Bello, Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, Triston Casas, Kyle Teel and others presents one of the best path ahead for a fanbase seeking to lastly transfer on from the Betts deal and the ache that got here with it.

Hope does sit on the horizon for Boston, with Chaim Bloom’s long-term outlook yielding fruitful returns inside the farm system.

Maybe within the subsequent 12 months or two, the Purple Sox fanbase can lastly take a web page out of Betts’ e-book, soak within the second, and respect the current as soon as once more.

It’s only a disgrace that no matter subsequent chapter Boston pens doesn’t contain a participant like Betts.

“That was a really, very dope chapter in my life,” Betts stated of life in Boston. “However the chapter I’m in proper now — I’m having fun with it a lot. I find it irresistible a lot. I wouldn’t commerce it for the world.”


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