Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are the talk of the All-Star Game

Elias Díaz of the Rockies celebrates his go-ahead two-run home run with Ozzie Albies of the Braves in the eighth inning.
Elias Díaz of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his go-ahead two-run home run with Ozzie Albies of the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
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J.D. Martinez had two hits. Will Smith was behind the plate for the final out.

But of the Dodgers’ All-Star contingent on Tuesday, it was Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman who were the biggest stars of the show.

In Major League Baseball’s 93rd All-Star Game, the National League beat the American League 3-2 in front of a sold-out, jam-packed T-Mobile Park.


Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Díaz crushed the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Former Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel, one year removed from his dismal season in Los Angeles, got the save.

However, it was the friendly antics between teammates, opponents and some of the sport’s biggest superstars that, as usual, left the biggest mark. And in both the stadium and on Fox’s broadcast, Freeman and Betts were in the center of it all.

From the chance to win, to not having to pay income tax, to the power of French fries, major league players reveal what they’d tell the Angels two-way star.

July 11, 2023

After Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. was robbed of extra bases on a leaping catch by Texas’ Adolis García to lead off the game, Freeman suffered nearly the exact same fate in the following at-bat.

In a two-strike count against New York Yankees ace and AL starter Gerrit Cole, Freeman laced a line drive the other way, the ball seemingly destined for an off-the-wall double.

At the last second, however, AL left fielder and Tampa Bay Rays star Randy Arozarena leapt and made the snag. Freeman watched on in amazement, pointing to Arozarena with a laugh, then waving his hand as if to say, “You can’t do that.”

“It was rude,” Freeman joked after. “Wasn’t very fair. But no, it was a good catch.”

The banter carried into the next half-inning.

When Arozarena lined a single off Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander and NL starter Zac Gallen, a miked-up Freeman greeted him at first base.


“You can’t take hits away and get hits,” Freeman said with a laugh, in an exchange picked up by the broadcast. “You gotta pick one.”

Even though he’s on the injured list, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is in Seattle, soaking up his 10th selection to an All-Star Game.

July 10, 2023

During the bottom of the first, both Freeman and Betts were miked up, razzing each other between each pitch.

Betts, the NL’s starting center fielder, said that when he started playing more second base this year, he expected Freeman to talk to him at first more often.

“He’s lonely out in the outfield,” Freeman said. “When he gets in the dirt, he’s trying to talk to me all the time.”

When Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani came to the plate — prompting raucous chants from the crowd imploring the pending free agent to “Come to Seattle!” in the offseason — Betts and Freeman were asked if they’d like to see Ohtani with the Dodgers instead.

“That would be tampering,” Freeman said. “I’m not doing any of that.”

As for Betts?

“If he wants to come,” Betts said, “he’s more than welcome.”

For now, the Dodgers have their own All-Star designated hitter in Martinez, who snapped an 0-for-7 streak in All-Star Games that dated to 2018.


In the top of the second, he led off with a line-drive single to left. Then in the fourth, he sent a double down the line and later came around to score.

“My friends were joking around with me like, ‘Are you gonna get a hit this year?’” Martinez said afterward. “It’s been rough every time I play in these.”

Will Smith has been one of the Dodgers’ best hitters since his debut in 2019. His work to improve on defense has made him one of baseball’s best catchers.

July 12, 2023

Smith was the lone first-time All-Star of the Dodgers’ five-man contingent (the club’s other representative, Clayton Kershaw, was on the injured list) and christened his first appearance with an eighth-inning walk and stolen base (without a throw) off of former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.

Moments prior to that, it was another catcher, Díaz, who delivered the a two-run homer to left to erase the NL’s 2-1 deficit and earn him most valuable player honors.

Miami’s Luis Arráez was the other standout performer, collecting two hits to go with his MLB-best .383 batting average this season, which has made him a realistic candidate to pursue a rare .400 average and a personal favorite of some of the Dodgers All-Stars, who had one last interaction with the Marlins infielder on their way out of the ballpark.

“He was saying he likes watching us hit,” Freeman said, speaking to reporters alongside Betts after exiting the game. “We were like, ‘Wait a second, we like watching you hit.’ And that’s why this is so fun for us. Seeing all the guys, hanging out with them for a couple days.”