Randy robs a HR in the most casual way imaginable

March 21st, 2023

MIAMI -- Give a TV show. Heck, put him in charge of a movie studio and an entire streaming service. The Rays outfielder and Team Mexico superstar has a knack for shining when the lights are brightest. He certainly did that again when he robbed Kazuma Okamoto of a home run during Monday's semifinal World Baseball Classic contest against Japan at loanDepot park.

When Okamoto -- who drove in five runs in Samurai Japan's quarterfinal victory against Italy -- hit a dome-scraping 378-foot shot, Arozarena tracked it to the wall and waited under it for what seemed like an endless minute, before making a leaping stab for the ball. When he finally returned to earth, he had not changed his expression at all. It was only when Okamoto began his celebratory home run trot that Arozarena revealed he actually had the ball.

Perhaps the best part was simply how nonchalant he was, like the adoring adulation from thousands of Mexico fans in attendance was as routine as picking up your bags at the grocery store or making a trip to the post office.

"He's extremely talented. He's a great character," Team Mexico manager Benji Gil said. "I think everybody would agree that he is awesome for baseball. He's awesome for baseball, he's awesome for Cuba, he's awesome for Mexico, he's awesome for wherever baseball's played."

Shortly after the incredible robbery, when there was a stoppage between batters, Arozarena turned around and started signing autographs for the crowd. This is like if pro wrestling were real or if reality TV were, well, reality.

Adam Jones -- whose home run robbery in the 2017 World Baseball Classic set the standard for game-saving catches -- also made it clear that this is just Arozarena's world now:

It wasn't his first clutch catch of the tournament, either -- he saved the game for Mexico against Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals, and his arms crossed celebration has become so iconic that even the most popular baseball player in the world had to try it out.

"It was a pleasure to have him on the team, for him to just do everything that he does, his personality, he's infectious and he's great for the game," Gil said.

Of course, the outfielder knows how to give a great quote, too. When asked what he expected from Japan's starter Roki Sasaki before the game, Arozarena responded with an all-timer: "I expect him to lose today."

Though Sasaki's Team Japan ultimately came out on top in an epic 6-5 walk-off victory, none of it takes away from Arozarena's emergence in this tournament as one of baseball's most confident, fun-loving and electric players.