Mookie Betts got first-hand experience playing in the fiercest rivalry in baseball when the Red Sox faced the New York Yankees during his six seasons in Boston.
Now firmly situated on the opposite coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers star is getting a taste of another rivalry when his current team takes on the San Francisco Giants.
Betts compared the two rivalries on Saturday, and he pointed out quite a few differences, specifically mentioning the fervor from the Boston fanbase that Los Angeles can’t match.
“In Boston, it was more like a slugfest. There was a lot of big hitters, heavy hitters, a lot of high-scoring games, long games,” Betts told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. “Obviously the fans are completely different. You’re in a different spot in the country. A lot of hostility going on there, and here’s a little different. You don’t have as high-powered of offenses as there.
“Fans are a little more chilled, they enjoy the game a little more. They’re not hating so much on the players and whatnot. They do have their pros and cons. I’m just blessed to be in another rivalry because it’s really fun to play in stuff like this.”
Betts, who is now in his third season with the Dodgers, might enjoy playing in the rivalries, but he has produced mixed results when taking on his team’s chief competitors. The six-time All-Star has performed well in his career against the Yankees, batting .280 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs.
The same can’t exactly be said when Betts faces the Giants. Before Saturday’s contest, in which he hit a solo shot in the third inning, Betts had a .244 batting average with five homers and 12 RBIs in 31 games against San Francisco.
Regardless, Betts is still one of the best players in baseball and still gets to play on a big stage with the Dodgers.