Surely you’ve heard by now that Mexico and Canada got into a brawl yesterday during the World Baseball Classic, and in the video above, you can see all the incidents that led up to the fight.
Basically, it was a bunch of physical but legal plays … yet it was a bunt single that set everything off.
Because of the way the rules are setup, Canada just beating Mexico wasn’t enough. The tiebreaking format provides incentive for teams to run up the score and claw for every run. Just ask Korea, who was 2-1 in the tournament but is watching at home now anyway.
As such, with their fate still very much up in the air, Canada bunted for a hit in the ninth inning while up six, which is when Luis Cruz did this:
So yeah, the guy bunted, Cruz obviously had no idea what was going on in terms of the context of the play, felt offended, and told his pitcher to drill the next guy, which the pitcher did … on his third attempt, even after being warned.
Getting past the ridiculous nature of the fact that it’s acceptable to hit a batter with a fastball because a professional getting paid to play baseball got his widdle feelings hurt by a bunt*, the more important part of it is whether or not suspensions would be in order, especially after the incident escalated into a bench-clearing brawl.
*I’m not the only one who finds it hilarious that behind all of this macho bravado front is the simple fact that these fights get started because grown men catch feelings over legal plays that hurt their egos, right?
So Cruz took offense, told the pitcher to hit the next batter, and then threw the first punch in the fight. Awesome. Suspension for sure, I figured.
The seven ejected — Team Mexico’s Arnold Leon, Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo, Andrew Albers and Alfredo Aceves and Canada’s Pete Orr, Rene Tosoni and Jay Johnson — will not face discipline beyond the ejections, according to a statement released by the World Baseball Classic, Inc., late Saturday night.
“Because at least one club — and potentially both — will not advance to the second round, WBCI has determined that disciplinary measures would not have a meaningful corrective impact. Thus, discipline will not be imposed beyond today’s seven game ejections. It is our firm expectation that the members of Team Mexico, Team Canada and all the tournament’s participating teams will learn from this incident and set a better example — one that befits the sport they share — in the future.”
A bizarre decision since there’s evidence that it was on purpose, it happened a pitch after a warning was issued, and there was a huge brawl with punches being thrown and people being tackled.
Oh well, the main thing is that Cruz won’t be suspended, thus avoiding any temptation the team may have in regards to keeping Juan Uribe around, which is what really worried me about all this.
As for Adrian Gonzalez, Larry Walker had that angle covered for us.
Larry Walker said he pulled Adrian Gonzalez out of the way of the brawl. “You’re too important to the game,” he told him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2013
As a bonus, here’s Javy Guerra being an idiot on Twitter.
You know how fights in baseball get avoided ??? U play the game right! Who bunts there? Whats the score? That’s how people get hurt!
— JavyGuerra54 (@JavyGuerra54) March 9, 2013
Pretty sure people get hurt when you throw at batters and then punch people in the face, but I guess that’s just me.