The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Mookie plays like Willie

If I told you Willie Mays was available today to play like he did in the 1950s and 1960s, you’d want your favorite team to jump at the chance of signing him, knowing the kind of immediate impact he could have. You can bet almost every major-league GM would try to find a way to afford a talent like him.


Well, the reincarnated Willie Mays is indeed playing today, and he’s named Mookie Betts.


Like Mays, Betts can beat you with his bat, his legs and his glove. Practically every day he’s turning in the performance of a superstar. Some say he’s the best in baseball right now, although there’s an ongoing debate as to whether he or Mike Trout is the better player.


The Los Angeles Dodgers won the race for Betts when Boston decided to trade him in February, knowing that they’d have to empty the coffers in order to retain him beyond the 2020 season. They stepped up to the plate in July and agreed to a mega-deal that will shell out $365 million for 12 years. Andrew Friedman rightfully assessed there was something missing from the team that had won seven consecutive division titles, but no World Series. Betts was that missing piece, and he delivered the goods. For a team that already had young stars like Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, Betts brought the real meaning of superstar. He gave the Dodgers what they couldn’t get during the last 32 years, a World Series ring.


I am including links to MLB’s videos of selected games where Mookie displayed Willie Mays-like performances.


July 31 – Outstanding throw to nail Padres runner at third base


https://www.mlb.com/news/mookie-betts-great-throw


 

August 13 - Three home runs in a game (sixth time in career) against Padres


https://www.mlb.com/news/mookie-betts-ties-record-with-sixth-three-homer-game


 

October 16 – Great shoe-string catch in NLCS Game 5 against Braves


https://www.mlb.com/news/mookie-betts-makes-great-catch-marcell-ozuna-out-in-nlcs-game-5


 

October 18 – Robs Freddie Freeman of a home run in NLCS Game 7


https://www.mlb.com/news/mookie-betts-robs-freddie-freeman-hr-nlcs-game-7


 

October 20 –2 stolen bases, 2 HRs in World Series Game 1 (ties Babe Ruth record)


https://www.mlb.com/news/mookie-betts-babe-ruth-world-series-feat


 

In case you need a refresher on May’s career, here’s some old film featuring the Hall of Famer. Click on the last video in the group that’s about three minutes in length.


https://www.mlb.com/video/search?utm=mlbfilmroom-redirect&q=Player+%3D%3D+%5B%22Willie+Mays%22%5D+Order+By+Timestamp+DESC


It’s a shame Mays played when he did—before free agency, before owners were willing to pay the big bucks. Baseball-Reference.com shows that he made just short of $2 million over his entire 22-year career. Think he’d be worth $365 million today? Say Hey!

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