Mookie Betts and the Dodgers were involved in a weird little baseball kerfuffle with the Giants on Thursday. In the top of the sixth inning, Giants pitcher Jarlin Garcia pitched a perfect inning, punctuated by strikeouts of Cody Bellinger and James Outman. After striking out Outman, Garcia looked at Betts in the on-deck circle and mimicked the Dodgers’ “Wolf of Wall Street” celebration.
Betts’ reaction was somewhere between bemused and confused, but he gently invited Garcia to come talk about it if he felt it necessary.
Mookie Betts said he was surprised to see Jarlín García pointing at him, especially since he was in the on-deck circle and hadn’t done anything. Said he’s never spoke to him in his life. Only thing he said after García pointed was ask, “What’s your problem?”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 4, 2022
This being baseball, of course, Garcia was not interested in a personal conversation, and he headed to the dugout, where he got a bit of a lecture from umpire Phil Cuzzi.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler wasn’t a fan of what Cuzzi said to Garcia, and he ended up being ejected for his first time in his tenure with the Giants.
After the games, cooler heads seemed to prevail. According to several reporters who cover the Giants, Garcia was somewhat contrite when talking to the media.
Garcia says he got a little caught up in the moment, and he made the same gesture toward Betts that Betts made when he homered off Garcia; Garcia says he meant no disrespect. Betts is one of his favorite players, he says.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2022
Betts, for his part, didn’t seem very upset during the brouhaha or when talking about it after the game. In typical Mookie mellowness, he exuded the quiet confidence that Dodger fans have come to love (quotes via The Athletic’s Farbian Ardaya).
“You started it. I’m not going to back down at that point. I’m not going to run away from it. I’m not going to encourage it, but I’m not going to run away.”
In the end, it was a relatively meaningless moment in the middle of a big win for the Dodgers, as they completed their second four-game sweep of the Giants in the last two weeks.
It was also the second game in those two series in which the Dodgers blew a lead only to have Mookie Betts take the lead right back with a big three-run homer. The comeback against the Giants on July 21 came against, you guessed it, Jarlin Garcia. So there may have been some residual hard feelings.
And now that we’ve watched that again, we’re starting to wonder if Garcia was being entirely truthful when he said Mookie was one of his favorite players.
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