Mexico-Canada fight after 9th-inning bunt; Larry Walker saw Satan (Video)
Mexico and Canada got into a big fight during the ninth inning of Canada’s 10-3 victory in Pool D play of the World Baseball Classic Saturday at Chase Field in Arizona.
The benches-clearing brawl resulted in eight ejections. The fight began after Canada catcher Chris Robinson bunted for a base hit with his team up 9-3 in the ninth. Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz felt Canada bunting with a six-run lead was disrespectful, so he encouraged pitcher Arnold Leon to hit the next batter.
In the video below, you can see Cruz make a gesture that appears to instruct Leon to hit the next batter:
Leon then threw inside on Canadian batter Rene Tosoni twice in a row, which led to the umpire warning both teams. Leon ignored the warning and hit Tosoni in the back with his 2-0 pitch. Tosoni took a few steps toward the mound after being hit, and both benches cleared.
It’s hard to tell exactly what transpired after that, but there was a lot of commotion and several punches were thrown. Even the fans got into it; a Canadian player was hit in the face by a water bottle that may have been thrown by a fan of Team Mexico.
In the end, MLB.com reports that Mexico’s Leon, Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo, Andrew Albers and Alfredo Aceves were ejected, while Tosoni, Pete Orr and Jay Johnson got thrown out on Canada’s side.
Canada coach Larry Walker had the quote of the night. Following the game, he told reporters that he thought Aceves lost it.
“I had a hold of him, and I thought I saw Satan in his eyes,” said Walker, via Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
To me, the blame for this fight lies with Mexico. Unless they are willing to concede the bottom of the ninth inning and give Canada the game, then they shouldn’t be upset that Canada was still trying to score more runs. And if they understood tournament rules — which dictate that tiebreakers are based on run differential — then they would have known why Canada was trying to score.
These unwritten rules of the game are such rubbish.