Brawl erupts in Canada’s win over Mexico
Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Canada defeated Mexico 10-3 in a World Baseball Classic game marred by a full-scale ninth-inning brawl.
There were seven players ejected and fans were throwing at least two bottles from the stands at the games.
The win by Canada sets up a showdown Sunday against Team USA with the right to advance to the second round along with Team Italy.
The situation had both managers urging WBC officials to change the tiebreaking format to eliminate run differential, encouraging teams to score as many runs as possible, despite the situation.
“There’s got to be another method other than running up the score on the opposing team,” said Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt. “No one likes that. That’s not the way baseball’s supposed to be played.”
Whitt added that because of the run differential that they have, you play it like an 0-0 game the whole time.
Mexico, already frustrated with a 9-3 deficit in the ninth inning, initiated the brawl when Mexico pitcher Arnold Leon twice threw inside at Rene Tosoni, drawing a warning from home-plate umpire Brian Gorman. Leon then hit Tosoni in the left shoulder with the next pitch.
TV cameras clearly caught Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz of the Los Angeles Dodgers gesturing to Leon to purposely hit Tosoni. Cruz wasn’t available, but Canadian first-base coach Larry Walker confirmed the gesture.
There were fights throughout the infield. Mexico outfielder Eduardo Arredondo was the most aggressive in the brawl. Mexico and Boston Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves also was in one major skirmish after another, including with Walker.
It turned ugly from the stands, too, when someone threw a water bottle that hit pitching coach Denis Boucher. Canadian shortstop Cale Iorg fired the bottle back into the stands.
Minutes later, someone threw a baseball at Walker, causing another stop in play. Whitt went to home-plate umpire Brian Gorman and told him that he would pull his team off the field if another incident occurred. Gorman went to Team Mexico and said the game was in danger of being forfeited.
When the public address announcer informed the pro-Mexico crowd that any further disruption would cause a forfeit. The game continued without incident.
The Canadians, who lost 14-4 to Italy in their first game of the pool but were given a respite when the USA lost to Mexico on Friday night, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hitting a two-run, third-inning homer and having three RBIs off U.S. knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in a 5-2 victory.
Dickey’s trademark knuckler wasn’t dancing and sat flat in the zone. He didn’t have it early as the 38-year old right-hander allowed a pair of runs in each of the first and third innings.
The U.S. fell behind 4-0 and then 5-1 and was never really in the game. The Americans could manage only two hits and a run off Mexico right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who struck out four over 3 1/3 innings. The U.S. had just eight hits on the night against seven Mexico pitchers.