With one team bunting in the ninth inning of a game it led by six runs, it might ordinarily be understandable for their opponent to get steamed. However, due to tiebreaker rules in the World Baseball Classic that hinge on run differential, it appears that Team Canada meant no offense by bunting against Team Mexico — although offense was clearly taken.
Mexico manager Rick Renteria blamed a misunderstanding of those tiebreaker rules for his players’ actions on Saturday, pointing out that in the “heat of the moment,” they didn’t realize what Canada was trying to do.
After a bunt by Chris Robinson to lead off the ninth inning for Canada, Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz was seen motioning at his pitcher to hit the next batter. That’s exactly what Arnold Leon did, plunking Rene Tosoni on his third try and sparking the brawl.
Seven players were ejected after the fight, including Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher also was hit in the face by a projectile thrown from the stands.
Photo via Twitter/@LosPadres