Saturday night, Mexico and Canada had the WBC looking more like the WWE after a 9th inning benches clearing brawl that left multiple players on each team ejected from the game.
The instigator of the fight is debatable, but the root of the fight had to do with the World Baseball Classic’s tiebreaker rule which has to do with runs scored. The Canadians were already up 9-3 at the time, but, because of the rule, attempted to put more runs on the board. This started with a bunt single in the top of the 9th by Canada’s Chris Robinson.
Mexico’s Luis Cruz fielded the ball but was playing too deep to make a throw to first. Instead he instructed pitcher Arnold Leon to bean the next batter faced – which he did (on the third try).
After being hit, Canada’s Rene Tosoni began walking towards the mound, and all hell broke loose.
Both benches cleared, punches were thrown by both sides, players took each other to the ground. Even the pro-Mexican crowd felt obligated to get involved as multiple items were thrown at the Canadian bench.
Though I feel that both teams deserve a punishment of some sort, I cannot say that I was overly offended by the fight. I have read comments all over ESPN about how disgraceful it was and how much class it lacked, but to be honest, at least it was entertaining.
People still act surprised by baseball brawls, as if they never happen. If ESPN can make a top ten baseball brawls list, then I would say they are a common enough occurrence.
Also, the World Baseball Classic is a bit of a joke anyways. I find it a tad ridiculous that players can go play for any country if they have roots there. Chris Denorfia and Nick Punto are both American born MLB players, but yet they can go play for Italy? Or how about Ian Kinsler or Kevin Youkilis playing for Israel? I am half Mexican myself, but if I were in this situation I would play for the United States over Mexico. Alex Rodriguez is Dominican, but yet in the last WBC he played for the United States. Just because players have a little bit of that country in them does not mean they should just play for a country they are not a citizen of.
If these players were mandated to play for their home country, maybe the U.S. would assemble an even better lineup, and not get 4th place like they did last time. I am sorry but the U.S. losing to Canada in baseball is unacceptable. It is our national pastime. I am sure that Brazil would feel the same way about us beating them in soccer, or New Zealand would feel the same way about us beating them in rugby (even though neither would ever happen).
Let’s face it, our society in infatuated with violence. It is the reason we love de-cleaters in football, and fights in hockey. I realize it is not supposed to happen in baseball, but sometimes the unexpected makes for good entertainment. And the fact that it is in WBC makes it even more so. Stopping treating this like the Olympics, and that the players should be ashamed for fighting. The World Baseball Classic is a joke and all that this incident did was provide some extra entertainment for the viewers.