Aaron Judge Opens Up on Mookie Betts’ Position Shift, Lauds Dodgers Star for Shared Winning Beliefs

Sometimes intense rivalry breeds immense mutual respect. Despite great competition at the end of the day, being a “Ballplayer” is a thing of pride. 

Aaron Judge proved it again when he praised the Los Angeles Dodgers’ latest shortstop Mookie Betts. While the New York Yankees captain was delighted to see Betts try a new position, he noticed something far bigger. A shared belief that drives both him and Betts toward greatness.

When it was revealed that the Dodgers were going ahead with Betts as their shortstop – it triggered a mixed response. While most fans had nothing but praise for Betts and his versatility, they wondered whether the team was unnecessarily burdening their star. That’s something that will be revealed in time, but Judge’s praises show that rivals already know how “remarkable” this change could be.

USA Today via Reuters

The New York Post reported All Rise’s comments on Betts becoming the new shortstop. “It’s remarkable,” said Aaron Judge. Noting how Betts has won multiple Gold Glove awards in the outfield, the Bombers’ captain said how it’s uncommon for a team to shift such a player from his position. However, this made the 2022 AL MVP tip his hat to Betts’ “selflessness” for accepting this change.

“The selflessness of him to go out there and try to help the team by moving to the infield and then not just that, but now moving to shortstop, speaks volumes to what kind of athlete he is and what kind of teammate he is,” Judge remarked.

Betts became a shortstop after Gavin Lux’s struggles in the field. The superstar had started his career as a second base until the Boston Red Sox turned him into an outfielder. This change echoes the similar act done by Judge this season.

The right fielder has shifted to the center to accommodate Juan Soto. So naturally, he commented on the similarities between him and Mookie Betts.

Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts’ shared beliefs and driving force

When talking about his own positional change, Judge noted that talks had been there since 2021. They’ve just come to fruition this year. He’s ready to play “wherever they want” him to play if it helps the team. To Judge, this comes down to him not being a positional player but a ballplayer.

“It just comes down to being a ballplayer. Mookie’s not just an outfielder. He’s a ballplayer. He’ll go out there and do whatever job you need him to do. I try to do the same thing to put us in the best position to win a game, if it’s right, center, or left,” Judge shared. While this is a great similarity, there’s another one between the two.

Their shifts have garnered a mixed response. In both cases, the fans have wondered if the teams are overburdening these athletes. While those worries will subside with time, as of now, the stars do not look worried about the changes.

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