Mookie Betts probably wasn’t expecting to talk to his old boss Tuesday night.
The Boston Red Sox outfielder had a night to remember against the New York Yankees, going 4-for-4 while ripping a grand slam in his team’s 14-1 victory at Fenway Park. And after the game, Betts joined Steve Levy for an interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” Sounds normal, right?
Well, it was, until Levy closed the interview by incorporating rookie analyst — and former Red Sox manager — John Farrell.
(You can click here to watch the interview.)
“Hey Mookie, I got one more question for ya — I got a friend of yours here,” Levy said. “Your old skipper John Farrell’s here — say ‘hi!’ ”
The brief exchange was an undeniably awkward watch, considering Farrell was fired as Boston’s manager last fall and recently was called out by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Still, both Farrell and Betts did a great job of keeping things professional.
“Hey Mookie, how ya doin,’ man?” Farrell said. “Listen, last year, no grand slams all season long. Here you are — you and (Xander Bogaerts) — with each one in the first 10 games of the season. There was a lot of talk early on that you guys were gonna be more aggressive in the count — early in the count.
“Has that paid any dividends for you personally?”
“Um, for sure,” Betts answered. “As you know, I take a lot of pitches, and I kind of made it a point this year to try and be aggressive and swing early because that’s kind of when they’re attacking me.
“So, it’s definitely worked this year.”
The most awkward moment, however, might have come after Betts left. Levy asked Farrell about his thoughts on new Boston manager Alex Cora, who has led the Sox to an MLB-best 9-1 record to begin the season.
“Doing a great job,” Farrell said.
While it’s tough to argue with Cora’s impressive start, the 42-year-old hasn’t been perfect. In fact, the rookie manager refreshingly admitted as much prior to Tuesday’s game.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images