All hell broke loose in the ninth inning of a World Baseball Classic game between Canada and Mexico on Saturday.
Both benches cleared for the brawl, and play was delayed for around 10 minutes. Fights took place all over the field, and seven players were ejected, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale:
Seven players ejected from Mexico-Canada game and discipline under review #wbc— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 9, 2013
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the ejected players include Mexico's Arnold Leon, Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo and Alfredo Aceves, and Canada's Pete Orr, Rene Tosoni and Jay Johnson:
Players ejected: Leon, Oliver Perez, Arredondo, Aceves. Orr, Tosoni, jay Johnson— DannyKnoblerCBS (@DKnobler) March 9, 2013
With Canada up 9-3, Chris Robinson led off the inning with a bunt single. Given that his team was already up by six runs, that could be considered "bush league," but run differential does matter for tiebreakers in the World Baseball Classic.
It also didn't help matters that earlier in the game Robinson made a hard slide into second base that could have been viewed as intending to injure a fellow player.
After Robinson got on first base, Rene Tosoni stepped into the box, and Mexico pitcher Arnold Leon threw the first pitch of the at-bat close to his knees. Given the physical play in the game earlier, the umpire warned both benches.
Leon was not worried about anything the umpire had to say, as his next pitch hit Tosoni square in the back. Tosoni started to walk out to the mound, and that was when things got interesting.
MLB Network showed a replay where Mexico's third baseman Luis Cruz actually motioned to Leon and told the pitcher to hit Tosoni after Johnson bunted for a single. This has been denied, according to Nightengale:
Mexico manager Renteria says he doubts that #Dodgers 3B Luis Cruz ordered the intentional plunking— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 9, 2013
Judging by the welts on Aceves' head, he certainly got the worst of his tangle with Blue Jays prospect Jay Johnson:
Alfredo Aceves' head doesn't look too good after the Mexico-Canada brawl at the World Baseball Classic twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 9, 2013
According to the live broadcast on MLB Network, fans also got in on the action, as there were some Mexican fans behind the Canadian dugout. One fan threw a bottle that hit a Canadian player right in the face. The public address announcer got on the microphone to warn fans that they would be fined, spend time in prison, etc.
It was an incredibly embarrassing sight to see in an event that is supposed to celebrate the best that baseball has to offer to a worldwide audience.