Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers were well-represented in Sunday’s World Baseball Classic game between Team USA and Mexico, with a combined three starters in the lineup.
Mookie Betts and Will Smith started for the United States, while Austin Barnes was behind the plate for Team Mexico. Barnes and Smith exchanged a few smiles during the game, but Randy Arozarena was not greeted as warmly.
As Arozarena stepped into the batter’s box to lead off the game, he extended his right arm and fist to say hi to Smith. However, the Dodgers backstop did not reciprocate it and only appeared to briefly say something to Arozarena.
“I don’t know,” Arozarena began answering when asked about the exchange. “I enjoy baseball from each game. So I also try to be happy when I play against ex-teammates. I saluted Goldy, since we played in St. Louis together, and (Smith) played [against] me in Triple-A when he was with the Dodgers.
“I was happy to see him. I tried to salute him, but he left me with a hand hanging out. What am I going to do? Not cry.
So I just kept going forward.”
Arozarena wound up reaching on an infield single and was on base when Joey Meneses hit his first of two home runs. Arozarena went 3-for-5 with two RBI and one strikeout.
In addition to previously having played against Smith while in Triple-A, they were opponents during the 2020 World Series. Arrozarena only appeared in 23 games in the shortened season but was with the Tampa Bay Rays for their postseason run.
Will Smith hits home run for Team USA
The United States lineup was largely held in check by Mexico in an 11-5 loss, though Smith was among those to contribute at the plate as he hit a solo home run.
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