Playing the Field: Brawl breaks out at World Baseball Classic
If you haven’t been watching the World Baseball Classic — and I wouldn’t blame you — things got really real yesterday between Mexico and Canada.
The two arch rivals (right? apparently?) were facing off in a Pool D Round Robin game when Mexico took exception to a ninth-inning bunt hit by Canada’s Chris Robinson as our neighbors to the north led 9-3. Many people have blamed the bunt on the WBC’s run-differential tiebreaker. In other words, the tournament favors scoring as many runs as possible, even leading by six runs in the ninth.
Mexico’s pitcher Arnold Leon, with prodding from third baseman Luis Cruz, drilled the next batter after throwing two consecutive inside pitches. Rene Tosoni, that hitter, took exception to Leon and the whole brouhaha began.
The benches cleared, renowned hot head Alfredo Aceves got snap mared to the ground by Nyjer Morgan-clone Tyson Gillies and legit punches were thrown. This was not your typical “stand around and trash talk” baseball fight. It got very ugly.
Canada coach Larry Walker said of Aceves, “I had a hold of him and I thought I saw Satan in his eyes.”
Even as the players started to leave the field the Canadian players started to taunt the heavily pro-Mexico crowd. Some fan responded by chucking a bottle at the players, striking Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher. Canada shortstop Cale Iorg pulled a Milton Bradley and whipped it back into the crowd.
Oh, and the organizers decided no one should be suspended. No big deal, boys. Carry on.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Good fight, though it’s still no Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura.