You’ve probably heard about Mookie Betts‘ speech by now.
Shortly after the Boston Red Sox traded Betts to Los Angeles, the publicly soft-spoken outfielder stood up in the Dodgers‘ clubhouse and «essentially call(ed) everyone out,» according to third baseman Justin Turner.
By all accounts, the content of Betts’ speech was well-received. But Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly — who was teammates with Betts in Boston before joining L.A. in 2019 — offered some interesting insight on his delivery.
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«Me and DP (David Price) were looking at each other like — it was good,» Kelly told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on «The Bradfo Show» podcast. «It was meant to go the right way, honestly. He’s not very — I don’t know how to put it. He speaks well, but then when he has to plan something and speak in front of people he wasn’t too comfortable with, I think he was getting ahead of himself.
«The meaning behind what he was saying was very I think spot on, but I think the way he was saying it was kind of tough.»
Betts never was a vocal leader in Boston — he didn’t need to be with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the clubhouse — and Kelly suggested that showed in the 27-year-old’s speech, which perhaps was a little blunt for some.
«It was very well accepted. If he would have said it a little bit nicer or articulated it a little bit better, it would have come off stronger,» Kelly said.
«It was kind of, once in a while, cringey. But then we all knew that his meaning behind it was accurate.»
Cringey in what way, you ask?
«Some people need to have their hand held the whole time and some people need the, ‘eff you;’ some people need the, ‘You are so good, just believe in yourself’ kind of statement,» Kelly explained. «And Mookie went the direct path, the direct route in front of 40 people.»
Kelly reiterated that Betts got his point across loud and clear: That the Dodgers are the most talented team in baseball and shouldn’t squander that talent.
The former American League MVP still is finding his footing as a leader, though, and according to Kelly, that manifested itself on one of his first days as a Dodger.
Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts’ speech to Dodgers was ‘cringey’ at times originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston