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World Baseball Classic Brawl: Canada Throws Punches With Mexico (Video)
If you were under the impression that nobody cares about the World Baseball Classic, think again. While it is true that the casual American baseball fan might not care that much about the tournament (or even know that it exists), many of the players take it very, very seriously. And as evidence of this, we offer this brawl from Saturday’s World Baseball Classic game between NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada.
It all started with a bunt single by Canada’s Chris Robinson in the top of the 9th inning. As you may know, one of the unwritten rules of baseball is that you do not try to run up the score and embarrass your opponent by bunting or stealing bases with a big lead late in the game. And in the top of the 9th inning, Canada held a 9-3 lead over Mexico. Thus, after he unsuccessfully fielded Robinson’s bunt, Mexican third baseman Luis Cruz made a gesture toward the pitcher, Arnold Leon, that seemed to say, “hit the next batter.” Then, wouldn’t you know it, Leon hit the next batter.
All hell broke loose after that. Both teams charged out of their dugouts and a wild brawl ensued. Then, after the melee disbanded, someone in the stands threw a water bottle out onto the field that hit Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher in the face, and another fan threw a baseball that narrowly missed first base coach Larry Walker.
Of course, while this may sound like it’s all Canada’s fault for being poor sports and breaking the unwritten code, it’s really not. In the WBC, run differential is used to break ties in group play, which means a team that doesn’t run up the score might go home early. So while you can’t blame the Mexicans for being upset, you also cannot blame the Canadians for bunting in the 9th inning with a big lead.
Who should you really blame? Well, the WBC is organized by Major League Baseball, so that means it’s all Bud Selig’s fault (as always).
Anyway, take a look at the violent scene:
After the game, Canadian skipper Ernie Whitt offered up the best quote with regard to the brawl. A reporter asked if any of his players were hurt during the altercation. With a totally straight face, he responded, “You can’t hurt us Canadians.”
Like I said, this World Baseball Classic thing is indeed serious business. National pride is at stake.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]