Baseball Has a Superstar Problem. Mookie Betts Thinks He Has the Answer

Baseball Has a Superstar Problem. Mookie Betts Thinks He Has the Answer

Major League Baseball appears to have more difficulty marketing its stars than the other major American sports. One explanation could be that baseball players haven’t been as forthcoming as their counterparts in the NBA and NFL.
In order to address it, Mookie Betts, a perennial MVP candidate, decided to start a podcast with Bleacher Report called On Base with Mookie Betts when he wasn’t busy leading his Dodgers to an NL West championship.

Mike Trout and Jazz Chisholm Jr. were among the guests he spoke with during the show’s debut season. and attracted significant viewership. More significantly, Betts is connecting fans with some of the best and brightest stars in the league. (And increasing his own already impressive profile.
The host and his guests, of course, play 162 games in 187 days, so it’s not always logistically simple.
Yet thus far, it has been worthwhile.

We spoke with Betts to learn more about his initial reluctance to start the show, the lessons he’s learned from hosting, and why it’s worth it to sacrifice sleep to advance the game he loves.

GQ: How did On Base with Mookie Betts begin?

Mookie Betts: We wanted to enter the podcast market, so it kind of started with me and my team at OMG (One Marketing Group). I believe that many people have learned about guys, their personalities, and other personable traits that they may not have learned about. Being baseball players, we play games every day, so you really only get to see us on the field, and you’ve got to use our game to draw a conclusion about who we are, rather than letting us use our own words to tell you who we are.
In a way, that is the main topic of the podcast.

I had no idea what Mike Trout sounded like or that he was interested in storm chasing prior to listening to your podcast.
For years, I had no doubts that he was one of the league’s top players. What was it like to not only get the best players in the game, but also to get them to be vulnerable in displaying their personalities?

Man, it’s so much fun.
It’s more enjoyable than I had actually anticipated. I think my relationships with many of the league’s players have improved.
It’s a brotherhood in this.
Only 750 of us exist in the entire world.
We must stick together because it’s crucial.
Off the field, it’s a brotherhood even though we compete on the field—that won’t change. I believe that in some ways, this podcast might be able to knit us all together.

Do guys now approach you during games asking to be on the show?

Yes, a few guys have asked me that during the game.
Numerous men have admitted to watching it, including umpires, spectators, and even some clubbies (clubhouse staff) from opposing teams.
Knowing that the baseball community is beginning to sort of gravitate toward something unique has been really cool because this is definitely unique. Baseball is a sport that, when something new comes along, might not be too adaptable. But I think the new generation has come in and they have a different outlook on what baseball is and what life is.

This custom has appeared to slow down the game a little.
Before the pod began, did you have any doubts about the guys’ willingness to try something new?

I had every hesitation and reservation in the world, so yeah, absolutely.
You are aware, however, that there is only one way to change, to shatter both the mold and the tradition. You must ascertain what functions.
There is no other option besides trying, so you must. I had some reservations going in, and they were all valid, but I also have confidence in myself. I have faith in my team, am confident I can approach anyone, and have a gut feeling that baseball players are motivated to do this.
They just lack the skills.
There will always be a pioneer, and I must be that person.

Fans of other leagues have benefited greatly from the information provided by current and former athlete podcasts.
There might have been some podcasts you listened to that gave you ideas for how to accomplish your goals.

Honestly, no.
It will be challenging to completely distinguish one podcast from the next because podcasts are podcasts. I aspired to independence and self-expression.
It goes without saying that you can borrow ideas from different podcasts.
However, I just really wanted to be myself, do it my way, and do what I feel is going to grow our game in terms of people and fans getting to know the players.
Because it appears differently in various sports, I believe we handled it in a unique manner.

Is it simpler for you to book guys as guests if you’re one of the league’s top players?

Man, it’s challenging to get men to join. We follow routines, schedules, superstitions, and other baseball-related practices.
You must therefore try to find a way to get around them.
But we also need to be willing to give up some things in order to expand both our own platforms and baseball itself.

The challenging part is really that. There are so many various circumstances.
The difficult part of schedules is that people have families and children in the town.
That’s the rough part for now, but we’re still making a lot of effort to see how it can be greatly improved.

What have you discovered by asking your peers questions?

My sincere response is that I’ve improved my listening skills.
Usually, when you talk to someone, you can talk but you might not be listening to what they’re saying because you’re just trying to say what you need to say and that person is just saying what they want to say.
Because you two aren’t really listening to one another, there is miscommunication.
It’s really made me pay attention to what people are saying and has improved my ability to focus on regular, everyday conversations.

In a short period of time, you’ve attracted some well-known figures. Has anyone ever been on that completely surprised you because you didn’t know anything about them or knew them too well?

Since I’ve been in the league for nine years and have observed so many different preparations, it’s difficult to say that I was blown away. The main factor in this game is that there are 750 players. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to spend quality time together.
In passing, you might know someone and ask how they are doing and inquire about their family in a very superficial manner.
With guys, you never really get into any real detail, and with this podcast, I would say that most of the guys I do know and have known before.
Just until we actually spoke on the podcast, I didn’t really get to know them.

Although the things the guys have said haven’t completely blown me away, it’s been interesting to learn that some guys have incredibly structured days while others are a lot more relaxed about it.

In baseball, consistency and routine are crucial.
How, without disrupting your routine that you’ve established in your career, have you been able to fit the preparation and filming of the show into your schedule?

My schedule has been in my control.
There is no doubt that the podcast has greatly improved things. But once more, if you want to do something, you have to be willing to sacrifice for it.
Despite the fact that I don’t always get to sleep until 12 o’clock as I would like, being involved with OMG has allowed me to get to know a lot of guys, promote the game, and expand my horizons.
Undoubtedly, making the sacrifice has been beneficial for me.


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