WBC News: Randy Arozarena Addresses Dodgers’ Will Smith Leaving Him Hanging on Fist Bump
Team Mexico upset Team USA, beating the World Baseball Classic favorites 11-5 on Sunday night in Arizona. The Mexican team scored early and often against the sloppy American effort, but there was another story buried in the headline of the USA loss. Perhaps a little drama brewing between Dodgers and Rays stars.
In his first at-bat of the game, Tampa Bay outfielder Randy Arozarena (a Cuban defector playing for Team Mexico) greeted USA catcher Will Smith of the Dodgers as he walked to the plate. Arozarena could be seen reaching his fist out toward Smith while talking to him. The speculative drama came when Smith didn’t fist bump him back.
Now, we can’t say for certain if Will actually even saw Arozarena’s hand from behind the catcher’s mask. At first glance, it looks like the catcher is talking back and smiling. But as Randy’s fist lingered, and Smith even turned his head downward, it became apparent that the Team Mexico outfield was not going to get dapped up.
In the below tweet, you can see the video as well as Arozarena addressing the incident.
As Jorge Castillo translated, here’s what the outfielder had to say
“I was happy to see him and I went to say hi, but he left me hanging. What am I going to do? I’m not going to cry.”
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted this.
The two players do have some history together. Of course, the Dodgers and Rays faced off in the 2020 World Series. Los Angeles came out on top 4 games to 2, but game 4 of the series saw one of the crazier endings to a game you’ll ever see. And that play involved both Smith and Arozarena.
Here’s that play.
It’s doubtful Arozarena had enough time to mention anything about that in the few seconds leading up to his first at-bat, but it is the most obvious bit of history between the two.
Smith will likely be forced to address the incident from Sunday night at some point before USA’s next game against Team Canada tonight on FS1. Something to keep an eye on.