Price rips MLB for poorly marketing Betts, African-American players
Teammate David Price says that needs to change.
"I saw the Brewers' first baseman (Jesus Aguilar) has a commercial on MLB Network," Price told Christopher Smith of MassLive. "Great player. Great player. I love watching him play. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him from Travis Shaw and all those guys. But he’s not Mookie Betts. We’re trying to grow this game in the African-American community. Put that guy (Betts) on commercials."
"MLB is probably the worst at marketing their players," he added. "They need to do a better job of that. We’ve talked about that to the union and (MLB commissioner) Mr. (Rob) Manfred many times."
In 2018, Major League Baseball saw a slight increase in African-American ballplayers on active rosters, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, going from a historic low of 7.1 percent of the league's player population in 2017 to 7.8 percent last season. The league has yet to release updated numbers for 2019.
To Price, not marketing Betts means MLB is missing out on an opportunity to increase baseball interest among young African-Americans. He said Betts "could be the face of baseball."
"Market the African-American stars in baseball better," Price continued. "And the other players. Everybody. Market us better. Mookie Betts doesn’t have a single commercial. He’s one of the most marketable people in all of baseball. He plays for the Red Sox and he’s African-American."
Betts is a three-time All-Star with three Gold Glove awards on his mantle, and he's coming off an unreal 2018 offensive campaign when the 26-year-old hit .346/.438/.640 with 32 home runs and 47 doubles while stealing 30 bases.
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