Man of many talents, Mookie adds coach's assistant to list

March 19th, 2023

MIAMI -- Mookie Betts swapped roles when Team USA took the field for pregame warmups on Saturday and Sunday at loanDepot park. While his teammates were dispersed around the infield, the star outfielder stood alongside his coaches to assist in ground-ball drills as they prepared for World Baseball Classic competition. 

“Usually I’m taking [the ground balls], but the last couple of days I wasn’t,” Betts told on Sunday prior to USA’s semifinals matchup with Cuba. “So, I figured I’d help them.”

Betts got involved in the routine in Miami when he found himself with extra time during his pregame schedule. He saw an opportunity to lend a hand. Betts has helped first-base coach Lou Collier and third-base coach Dino Ebel, who also is Betts’ third-base coach on the Dodgers.

On Saturday, ahead of USA’s comeback win over Venezuela in the quarterfinals, Betts stepped inside the cage and handed off baseballs from a cart placed behind home plate. The following afternoon, he stood outside the first-base line, caught the balls as they were thrown in from first base and tossed them off to be hit back into play.

Betts – a two-time World Series champion, 2018 AL MVP and batting title winner, six-time All-Star, six-time Gold Glove Award winner and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner – clearly has a laundry list of accolades to his name, and yet he was happy to add pregame assistant to his resume.

“They do everything they can to help us,” Betts said of Team USA’s coaching staff. “So whenever I have the time, I’ll make sure I help them.”