FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Life couldn't be much better for Mookie Betts these days.Let's take stock.His team won the World Series last October. Betts won the American League MVP Award that eluded him two years ago. The right fielder won yet another Gold Glove Award -- his third in a
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Life couldn't be much better for Mookie Betts these days.
Let's take stock.
His team won the World Series last October. Betts won the American League MVP Award that eluded him two years ago. The right fielder won yet another Gold Glove Award -- his third in a row. Betts experienced the joy of his first child being born (a daughter named Kynlee Ivory). Oh, and he won another PBA bowling tournament on Super Bowl Sunday.
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Though that type of success can be intoxicating, Betts arrived at Spring Training with the same low-key demeanor that has marked his entire career with the Red Sox. He might have been the best player in the American League last year, but Betts still thinks he can be better.
"Yeah, there's always room for improvement," he said. "I think we had a good group of guys last year offensively and defensively, but there's always room for improvement. That's what Spring Training is for. We're looking to improve and get better in the areas that we were weak, improve our strengths as well, and go out and see what '19 holds."
At 26 years old, it's possible Betts hasn't played his best baseball yet. What can he improve on?
"There's a bunch of things. Just being consistent," Betts said. "Obviously, you're going to have your ups and your downs, but the more ups I can have and the quicker the downs are, the better I'll be. I did a pretty good job with that last year. So I have to do it again. It's tough to do again. So I have to work and continue to put in the work to be the best that I can be."
One thing that has changed for Betts this season is his contract. Betts landed a $20 million, one-year deal, the largest ever for a player in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
"Just a fun process," said Betts. "It has its good and bad [aspects]. It's definitely part of baseball, part of the business. I'm definitely happy we came to an agreement. Those type of things are tough to do. For us to come to an agreement is definitely a good thing."
Betts has two more seasons before he can be a free agent. But the best ending to that story would be an extension with the Red Sox.
"I mean, yeah, if everything works out well," said Betts. "I love this place. I love Boston. It's one of those things where you have to see how it goes."
Pedroia arrives, gets right to work
Though position players aren't scheduled to have their first workout until Monday, Dustin Pedroia arrived to camp on Thursday and got right to work. It was an encouraging sign for the second baseman, who played just three games last season due to complications from left knee surgery.
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Pedroia took grounders and some hacks in the cage, hitting one fly ball high off the wall in left, leading to an exuberant shriek from teammate Brock Holt.
"He looks good. We talked a little bit," said manager Alex Cora. "He met with the medical staff and he'll be out there Monday. He looks in good spirits. He looks in great shape. Looking forward to start working with him and seeing where he takes us."
Broadcast by committee
The Red Sox will take a different approach with their radio broadcast in 2019. Joe Castiglione, who will be in his 37th season behind the mike, will work with a variety of partners.
The change comes on the heels of Tim Neverett leaving for a job with the Dodgers.
Headlining the rotating crew will be Sean McDonough, who called Sox games on television from 1988-04. Josh Lewin and Mario Impemba, two veteran MLB announcers, will also be in the mix. Chris Berman, Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold and Tom Caron are other names you will hear. Dave O'Brien, Boston's lead play-by-play man for NESN, will also do select games on radio.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.