Great players have to live with a huge weight on their shoulders. Being good isn't good enough for them, as they have to deal with different standards. Just watch Mookie Betts, one of MLB's finest, and the leader of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Betts has had a decent season thus far, yet, somehow; it feels like he's having the worst season of his career. He's hitting just .247 with 5 home runs, the worst figures of his career after 40 games since his rookie season.
And, while the Dodgers continue to be the clear-cut favorite to win the World Series again, and those numbers aren't exactly bad for the average player, people think that Betts must be far from 100% right now.
Mookie Betts Says Injuries Aren't To Blame For His Slow Start
However, according to the former Boston Red Sox star, there's not a physical issue or ailment that's limiting his play, even though he's had to miss 5 games this season due to multiple injuries:
“No reason for my performance,” Betts told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. “I don’t have any excuses. Sometimes you just don’t play well. I’m not here to say this is why, that it’s this, that and the other.”
Betts is well aware of the responsibility he's got with the team, especially after signing that massive 12-year, $365 million contract. He knows he must be better and he's confident in his ability to turn the corner:
“I’ve shown that I can play at those expectations, so I’ve got to kind of live by them. I’m not mad at them by any means. I don’t mind expectations. It doesn’t scare me at all. Just a matter of going out and living up to something that I feel like I can play at,” Betts added.
"It’s not making a lack of effort or anything. I’m putting in my work, doing everything I can to work on my game. So we’ll just see. It’s kind of like a moving target right now. I’m trying to say, get it in the air, and then I start popping up too much. Then I need to get it lower, and then I start hitting it on the ground too much. I don’t have an answer," he concluded.
Great players always figure things out and, fortunately for him, it's not like the Dodgers are lacking players who can step up night in and night out. Hopefully, this will be just a slump and he'll get back to his old self rather sooner than later.