Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts will be leaving Camelback Ranch soon to join his Team USA teammates in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, which kicks off on March 11. It will be Mookie’s first time representing his country in the WBC or any other international competition.
Betts said recently that the opportunity to be teammates with Mike Trout again was a big pull for him to participate in the WBC. The two superstars were teammates on several American League All-Star teams, but Mookie has been missing “Mikey” since coming to the National League.
Mookie talked with Kirsten Watson of SportsNetLA during Friday’s spring training game against the Angels in Tempe, and when a comparison came up between Team USA and the 1992 Olympic basketball “Dream Team,” Betts had an interesting, Dodgers-related comment.
Magic Johnson was the emotional leader of that Dream Team in 1992. He and Larry Bird were co-captains, so if Mookie is Magic, I guess Trout would be Bird, right down to the ailing back. (In real life, Mookie really is magic, but trout and birds don’t get along very well.) Michael Jordan had just led the NBA in scoring for the sixth straight season, and his Bulls had just won their second of six NBA titles, but in the Olympics, it was actually Charles Barkley who led the team in scoring.
We’re not really sure who Jordan’s comparable would be, but Pete Alonso is obviously Barkley. JT Realmuto is kind of a John Stockton type, so maybe his teammate Kyle Schwarber can be Karl Malone. Jeff McNeil is definitely Chris Mullin, and every pitcher on the team is tied for being Christian Laettner.
Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt would probably fill the roles of Jordan and Scottie Pippen, although it’s tough to say who would be whom. Cedric Mullins has a Clyde Drexler feel to him, which just leaves the two big men, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. No one on Team USA is nearly big enough to compare to those guys, so we’ll just go with team proximity and say Kyle Higashioka of the Yankees is Ewing and Kyle Tucker of the Astros is Robinson.
Yeah, I know, it all falls apart, but the important things are that Mookie is Magic, Trout is Bird, and it’s a lot harder to stack a baseball team than a basketball team.
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