The news that Mookie Betts could play at second base is percolating in the World Series buildup. It’s thrilling, exciting, and fascinating to think about. Could Mookie play second when the World Series moves to Chavez Ravine?
THE CASE FOR MOOKIE AT SECOND
.@redsox @mookiebetts working on the double play pivot with Dustin Pedroia during Sunday’s #RedSox workout. Alex Cora may possibly put Betts at 2nd when #WorldSeries shifts to LA for Game 3 Friday due to no DH in the National League. #WBZ @WBZ pic.twitter.com/HYmLr0yVxx
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) October 22, 2018
I love Rochie. Who doesn’t love Rochie? To dream like him and be filled with wonder like him, that is living. And it’s not just pure fandom rooting for this. There are others making the argument that it truly makes sense. The noted Yankee fan MLB writers at The Ringer are making the case.
BETTS WANTS TO PLAY SECOND
There is something Rochie, and others salivating over Betts at second footage, don’t realize or mention: Betts has been doing this all year.
Betts is like that kid at CVS begging and touching all the candy when Mom and/or Dad have their hands full with prescriptions. He’s the relentless ‘A ‘ student begging teachers for every last point. He’s Bugs Bunny to the Red Sox coaching staff’s Daffy Duck.
It is undeniable. Mookie Betts wants to play second base.
His consistent and unflinching ground ball work at second yielded fruit: He played 4 innings at second on August 3rd 2018 against the Yankees. That happened to coincide with Alex Cora being ejected in the first inning. Mookie focused his laser beam of intensity on bench coach Ron Roenicke, and Roenicke wilted.
Mookie knew he had to act fast while Cora was hot over being ejected. He got in at second in the second inning, he was back in right field by the 8th.
WHY BETTS WON’T PLAY SECOND
One thing Betts to second champions are harping on is an Alex Cora interview I watched on the MLB Network. You can find the full interview here. He discusses the Mookie Betts to second possibility around the 23 minute mark.
Among the quotes there are a couple that jump out.
Speaking to Betts tenacity and Cora’s unwillingness “Today he’s going to try a few double plays…like I said there’s a chance, but it’s not like he will…” Mookie is very much Lloyd Christmas in this situation.
On the need for an experienced second baseman “(The) thing is in the national league they bunt, you know, and advance runners..”
On the Red Sox pitching staff “But…we don’t throw too many ground balls, it’s either strikeouts or fly balls.” In other words, the Sox need excellent outfield play to compliment the pitching staff.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 18, 2018
How about this?
Yeah, baseball experts, keep trying to explain how Mookie Betts wasn’t going to catch that home run in game four no matter what. Amazing what happens when fans don’t get in the way. #ALCS #RedSox pic.twitter.com/6e2ZnTtUuo
— Rational Human Man (@brianlowrider) October 19, 2018
To invoke a certain Colonel Jessep; we want him on that wall, we need him on that wall! Mookie probably won’t make any outstanding plays at second base. But Minerva McGalleon McGonagall herself would bet on Mookie making incredible outfield plays.
Alex Cora will have plenty of lineup decisions to make in the 2018 World Series. Putting Mookie anywhere but the outfield will not be one of them.
You can find the full interview with Alex Cora (Via CLNS) here.