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Betts debuts on Dodgers' Zoom party

@kengurnick
May 11, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers held their third Zoom party on Monday night, with “regular” Justin Turner joined by new teammate Mookie Betts and manager Dave Roberts among others. Also on the program were Walker Buehler, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty and retired record-breaking closer Eric Gagne, with cameo

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers held their third Zoom party on Monday night, with “regular” Justin Turner joined by new teammate Mookie Betts and manager Dave Roberts among others.

Also on the program were Walker Buehler, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty and retired record-breaking closer Eric Gagne, with cameo appearances by part-owner and tennis legend Billie Jean King and entertainer Ken Jeong.

The Zoom party was hosted by Dodgers broadcasters Joe Davis and Alanna Rizzo and included Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for the seventh-inning stretch.

Roberts and Gagne had an intriguing early exchange, with Roberts asking the questions and his former teammate answering them. Topics included how Gagne blocked out “the noise” as he reeled off a record 84 consecutive saves over three seasons.

Gagne -- with uniforms of closers Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman on his office wall and Fireman of the Year hardware on the desk -- also was praised by Roberts for “being an analytics guy before analytics.”

One topic touched on was the Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, which Betts called “the best thing I’ve ever seen.” But he added that the Jordan movie, “Space Jam,” is “top-five all-time.”

Betts said that he’s been fishing during the pause and is fired up for a May 29 bowling tournament. Betts has rolled a trio of perfect 300 games.

King, who became a part-owner of the Dodgers with partner Ilana Kloss in 2018, said she’s been non-stop fundraising during the break for a variety of charities, including the Dodgers Foundation and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York.

Buehler said he’s been golfing during the break. Beaty said he had been working out with teammate Edwin Rios, who has since returned home to Florida.

“So I downloaded a Peloton app,” Beaty said. “Might do the Tour de France next year.”

Muncy said he went for a run the other day, conclusive proof of his boredom.

“That’s something that doesn’t happen. That’s how crazy I got,” Muncy said. “Regretted it after 30 seconds, but went a solid mile.”

Betts and Turner talked about the nervousness of walking into the clubhouse for the first time after joining a new club.

“I remember my first day. I actually went into the Minor League clubhouse,” said Turner.

Jeong, with a picture of him and Turner as the Zoom background, was asked about his favorite teacher.

“Shout-out to Mr. Jones, my P.E. coach, who told me not to try to play any sports and go into comedy,” he said.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.