Skip to content

No suspensions coming for Canada-Mexico WBC brawl

Mar 10, 2013, 8:55 AM EDT

mexico canada wbc getty Getty Images

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, World Baseball Classic officials have decided that no players will be further disciplined for the benches-clearing brawl that broke out Saturday between Team Canada and Team Mexico. The fight brought seven ejections, but that’s as far as the punishment will go.

“We are extremely disappointed in the bench-clearing incident that marred the conclusion of today’s game between Canada and Mexico,” reads a written statement released early Sunday morning by World Baseball Classic, Inc. “The episode runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition for which the World Baseball Classic has stood throughout its history. After communicating with both the Mexican and Canadian baseball federations this evening, we are aware of the perspectives held by both sides in a competitive environment.  Nevertheless, we relayed to both teams that such an altercation is inappropriate under any circumstances and has no place in baseball. Because at least one club – and potentially both – will not advance to the second round, WBCI has determined that disciplinary measures would not have a meaningful corrective impact.  Thus, discipline will not be imposed beyond today’s seven game ejections.  It is our firm expectation that the members of Team Mexico, Team Canada and all the tournament’s participating teams will learn from this incident and set a better example – one that befits the sport they share – in the future.”

It’s great news for Mexican third baseman Luis Cruz, who incited the entire fracas when he directed teammate Arnold Leon to plunk Canada’s Rene Tosoni after Chris Robinson’s successful ninth-inning bunt single. Cruz, who is expected to open the 2013 season as the Dodgers’ starting third baseman, also threw the first punch when the two teams rushed toward each other. A suspension that would bleed into regular-season MLB games seemed likely for him. But here we are.

Canada (1-1) plays Team USA (1-1) today at 4 p.m. ET in Arizona. The winner of that game will advance out of Pool D along with Team Italy (2-1). Mexico (1-2) has already been eliminated and has no games remaining.

  1. brianratm - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    What the hell does, “a suspension that would bleed into regular season MLB games seemed likely”, mean?

    • paul621 - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      It means exactly what it says– a suspension seemed likely, particularly one that carried into the regular season.

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        It’s an international series. The suspensions can only take place in international competition, which would mean the next time they are on the roster for their national team.

        MLB cannot suspend them for a level of competition they don’t control. Just like they can’t suspend minor leaguers, college players, and players from the independent league.

        But Hardball Talk hates the WBC so much I’m sure they’ll advocate for this, just in order to prove a point that doesn’t exist.

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Yeah, that’s it, he just wrote that because he doesn’t like the WBC. He definitely did not write it because that is what everyone is saying might have happened because the WBC tournament is sanctioned by both MLB and the MLBPA, which could likely allow disciplinary actions to apply to MLB regular season games. Nonetheless, I doubt it would have. Soto failed a test for weed in 2009 and all that happened was he was banned from international competition for 2 years, no effect on his MLB availability.

        Of course, I would love to see what would happen if an MLB player failed a PED test at the WBC….there is a 0% chance MLB wouldn’t use that information to suspend the player under the CBA.

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Sanctioned meals “allowed to play”. It does not mean governing body.

        MLB is hosting the tournament, but the governing body is the IBAF, as it is an international (and not a domestic league) competition.

        MLB could do anything they wanted to any player to a player in their league. What they can’t do is punish players not under a major-league contract.But that does not take precedence over the governing body punishments.

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Also, just saw the video for the first time. Who is #24 for Canada. You know, the one who tried to kick a Mexican player in the head. Johnny Cueto called and wants his shtick back.

        As I said, I don’t condone what the Mexican team did, but seriously, the Canadians need to grow the hell up. Wow, the fans in the stand were yelling at them and said something mean.

        Professional players are supposed to learn to ignore what is said from the stands. Engaging the fans and acting as stupid as they do does not help the situation.

  2. 13arod - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Why was there no suspenions??

    • sabatimus - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Because the WBC has no balls except beanballs.

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Both Cruz and Leon should be suspended. Mexico should be forced to go through a qualifying round for the next WBC. Cruz should also be very worried the next time he faces a Canadian born pitcher.

    • burlyisatruefan - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      Your comment is the exact reason why they should have made some suspensions. They have to stop any retaliation. Cruz will need catchers gear to go to the plate and bat.

    • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Mexico did not fight Canada. Players from the Mexican team and Canadian team fought. Why would you punish the national organization?

      But here’s a little bit of news for you: if Canada hadn’t gotten spanked by the Italian team, they wouldn’t have been put in a position to run up the score.

      I don’t condone what happened on the field, but running up the score is not good sportsmanship no matter what the final outcome.

      • sabatimus - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        You don’t know the rules do you?

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        I know the rules. So what’s your point?

      • sabatimus - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Read it again: my point is that you do not know the rules, or are choosing to ignore them. You wrote “running up the score is not good sportsmanship.” In a tournament where run-differential matters, running up the score is PRECISELY good sportsmanship.

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        No, I defiantly know the rules.I know how run-differental works.

        I also know running up the score is poor sportsmanship. If the Canadians had played better against the Italians and not gotten mercy-ruled, they wouldn’t have had to run up the score and been poor sportsmen.

        Play better against one team and they don’t have to be dicks to another.

      • sabatimus - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Do you “defiantly” know English as well?

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        No, I’m just an ignorant foreigner who hasn’t learned the language yet.

        Or I’m an native-born American who mis-spelt a word that spell check picked up as being a correctly spelt word when I didn’t spell it correctly at first.

        Guess you don’t know, but still feel the need to be superior to me. It’s nice to know that you’ve never had to use spell check on a computer. You must be special. I guess that’s why you can’t actually address the point I made and need to nitpick about spelling.

        I didn’t realize you were a syrup drinker as well.

      • sabatimus - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        No, I went to the English card because you didn’t use that properly either. This isn’t about my asserting myself over you. Since you apparently know the rules, this is about your own willful desire to ignore the rules, when you could be realizing that Team Canada did exactly what they were supposed to do. But since this point isn’t getting to you after repeated attempts, I’m done talking with you.

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        I never said the Canadians didn’t follow the rules. If you can show me where I said that, please do so.

        What I said, and what you are too fucking obstinate to admit, is that regardless of the rules they showed poor sportsmanship in running up the score.

        That’s my opinion and I will stand by it regardless of what you say. Now, try once again to show me how you are superior to me.

    • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      I don’t buy into any suggestion that Cruz should be suspended for whatever he said to the pitcher (though he should be for throwing punches, just like every Canadian player that threw punches should be suspended, especially the guy that was punching Aceves in the head while another player was holding him). The pitcher decided on his own to hit the next batter, and continued to throw at him after missing him and both benches being warned. That is 100% on the pitcher.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        Aceves is a well known in Boston to be a head case. Farrell and Valentine were probably pleased that he got punched in the head. Cruz was caught on camera telling the pitcher to throw at the hitter.

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        Who the fuck cares what Cruz said? If the pitcher chose not to throw at the hitter, do you still think Cruz should be suspended? Cruz wasn’t the manager or anyone is a position of power. The pitcher made the decision to repeatedly throw at the hitter.

        Who the fuck cares if Aceves is a head case? A guy being a head case does not mean it is justifiable to grab him around the neck from behind, to hit him in the head while his is held by someone else. Look, I think Aceves is a giant fuck stick, but just because someone is an ass doesn’t justify actions against that person.

        When did Satan show up? Before or after Aceves was beaten about the head while in a choke hold?

  4. burlyisatruefan - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Why not?

    Did the 3rd baseman not instruct the pitcher to plunk him?

    The pitcher was so bad it took him 3 tries to hit the batter. That’s the definition of missing your spots.
    On the other hand, it definately shows the intent of the pitcher even after he was warned.

    Why did the catcher shove the batter after it was clear that nothing was going to happen?

    Some decision making by those in charge absolutely baffles the mind. No spine.

    • abaird2012 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      The pitcher is under no obligation to take instruction from the third baseman. Same as he wouldn’t have to act if a fan in the stands yelled “Plunk him!”

  5. indaburg - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    The guilt they feel is punishment enough.

    • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      So….nothing then? :-)

      I seriously doubt a single player involved feels guilty about anything, most probably wish they had got a few more shots in.

      • indaburg - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Exactly…

        Remember when you did something wrong as a kid and you were expecting a can o’whup-ass, but all you got was “the guilt you feel is punishment enough.” The hardest part was keeping an appropriately somber and remorseful expression while thinking: Hellz yeah! I got away with it! Woot woot!

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        Having been a perfect child, I have no idea what you are talking about.

      • indaburg - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        (Hit post too soon. For the record, I think this is bullshit. Team Mexico should be punished.)

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        I agree. There should be suspensions all around. Everyone that threw a punch or was involved in physical altercation.

    • chacochicken - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Your wit is lost here. Pearls before swine and all that.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        …said..the chicken…

      • indaburg - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Yeah, tough crowd. Ah, well.

      • chacochicken - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        My ex-wife got all my wits in the last divorce. She didn’t think I was that funny either.

  6. stairwayto7 - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Send both country home! Banned from 2017 WBC! Make a stand.

  7. brianratm - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    How can a suspension in a make believe, money making tournament carry into a professional league? The reason there were no suspensions is because there is nothing suspend them from.

    • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      National organizations fall under the International Baseball Federation, so yes, there is something to suspend them from. Further international competition, which comes in many formats. Just because you can’t be bothered to figure out what it is doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      • jwbiii - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Sure. So the IBAF gives them a five game suspension – that’s about the length of a suspension that MLB typically hands out for brawls – and Cruz and the other brawlers are ineligible to play in the next international tournament in which the their national teams participate.

        As for this tournament, Mexico has been eliminated and Canada’s fate hinges on the US/Canada game this afternoon. Sure, it’s fair to penalize the Canadian players involved in the brawl, but is it fair to give the US team an advantage of playing an elimination game against a shorthanded Canadian team?

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Firstly, who said anything about fair? Grow up and welcome to real life.

        Secondly, If the Canadians don’t want players suspended for the next round, don’t fight. No fight, no suspension.

        Thirdly, no one said they had to be suspended for the next round.

        Fourthly, I’m not really concerned about a team advancing that got mercy-ruled and then had to run the score up in another game.

      • dmcmillan2286 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        Blacksable says: “Secondly, If the Canadians don’t want players suspended for the next round, don’t fight. No fight, no suspension.”

        So, let them throw at you three times but simply turn the other cheek?

        Also, “Fourthly, I’m not really concerned about a team advancing that got mercy-ruled and then had to run the score up in another game.”

        So they lost one game badly and then had to run the score up to maximize their chances of making the next round and you consider them irrelevant?

        Not sure I understand your logic here. Maybe you took a few too many beanballs yourself…

      • blacksables - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        It’s simple. As I said, I don’t condone what the Mexicans did. They were wrong. But lets look at what the Canadians did:

        1. They knew they were trying to run up the score – poor sportsmanship, and I don’t care what the argument is. Italy whipped the syrup-drinkers, not Mexico. Don’t get your ass handed to you, you don’t have to be dicks to a different team.

        2. Pissing and moaning about pitches inside. He was throwing low and inside. Just the fuck up. We celebrate players who are ‘gritty’, yet the Canadian player is too much of a pussy to take one in the leg. He was crying to the umpire before he ever got hit. You know what happens if he gets hit and keeps his trap shut: 2 on and 0 out. That’s a lot better scenario for running up the score then getting players suspended.

        3. The Canadians were out of the dugout and in the middle of the field before the Mexicans, so they were spoiling for a fight and ready to go at it, instead of letting the umpires handle it. Explain that sportsmanship thing again?

        4. Gilles, #24, tried to kick a Mexican player in the head. Explain to me again about that sportsmanship thing again.

        5. Supposedly professional ballplayers couldn’t handle the crowd and responded back, thereby escalating the situation into an ever more dangerous issue. Explain to me about that sportsmanship thing again.

        Like I said, the Mexicans were wrong. Explain to me how the Canadians were right about anything they did?

  8. tkushy - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    stairway. did you actually see the event happen? the mexican team was looking for a fight. the mexican fans wanted a fight. canadian team defended itself.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      The beat down Canada put on Mexico saw machismo put in its overrated place once again.

  9. tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I understand that they could suspend the major league players, and the minor league players too I guess…..

    But how are they going to suspend the guys who work at Jiffy Lube?

  10. jaysfan64 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    What a disgrace…Mexico was clearly looking for a fight…I do agree with Ernie Whitt in that the rules re: run aggregate need to be changed…I have trouble though believing that “some of Mexico’s players” didn’t know about the aggregate run scoring…looks like a few were just sore losers…and that Aceves character? He seriously has issues…tell ya what tho, I’m with proudly here – next time Cruz faces a Canadian born pitcher he should be wearing full body armour and be very afraid…

  11. bostonboy82 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    I’d like to personally thank with the highest respect, team Canada for punching Aceves around like a rag doll and exposing the whimp he is. Nothing was more pleasing than seeing him turtle while Canucks thru hooks at his head, then watching him do the classic “oh! Hold me back, hold me back”!! O’Canada!! I salute you!!!!

    • jwbiii - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      How would you feel if it was you? If someone was holding your arms and someone else was punching you in the head? Would have the highest respect for them for exposing you as the whimp [stet] that you are? Or maybe something else?

      • cur68 - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Comment of the week; “Look at Sergio Romo: cutting people with his eyes! Bruce Bochy will not be pleased!”
        Classic.

  12. whodeytn - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I don’t condone what happened on the field, but running up the score is not good sportsmanship no matter what the final outcome.
    ======

    And it’s obvious that you don’t know the rules of the WBC.

    • deep64blue - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      In future if teams don’t want opponents to “run up the score” they should be required to hang a white flag from their dugout and never swing at a pitch.

      It’s madness – the name of the game is to score runs, if you don’t like it then pitch better!

      • jwbiii - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Absolutely. A minor rule change could be useful here. If a team is being embarrassed by another team running up the score, they can concede and the other team will get credit for a ten run mercy/slaughter rule win.

  13. elmo - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    One thing’s certain, people won’t be saying “Who the hell is Luis Cruz?” quite as often.

  14. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    A couple of low talent Mexicans sure did embarrass their entire country yesterday huh? Color me shocked that the Canucks rag-dolled them when push came to shove.

  15. Sign Ahead - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    “It is our firm expectation that the members of Team Mexico, Team Canada and all the tournament’s participating teams will learn from this incident and set a better example – one that befits the sport they share – in the future.”

    What exactly are they supposed to learn from this? To me, the lesson is “Brawl away, boys. There will be no additional consequences.”

  16. bostonboy82 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    I can’t believe some of these comments against Canada. So here’s a recap of what happened for you people commenting without seeing the game. 1) Mexican 3rd b-man walks to grounder, clearly unimpressed. 2) tells Mexican pitcher to hit canadian batter. 3) Mexican pitcher listens to 3rd b-man. 4) misses first few tries to hit batter. 5) succeeds. 6) Canada stands up for themselves and shows the world they won’t get bullied.
    And as for running up the score!!! Really?!?! That’s why there’s a mercy rule and at that time it was only 9-3. That’s a 6 run difference. Easily attainable for you that don’t understand baseball. Again, well done Canada.

  17. alexjm3449 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I am an american player who plays in a Mexican baseball league. some teams are all Mexicans.. When there team is down or getting the score ran up on them that team and fans cry and bitch like craaazy.. its how they were brought up to respond when losing. Mexicans are poor losers.

  18. oaktown49er - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    “The episode runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition for which the World Baseball Classic has stood throughout its history.” Throughout it’s HISTORY, you hear that Mexico and Canada…the founding fathers of the tournament must be rolling in their graves…wait they are all still alive…ok nothing to see here carry on.

  19. jkaflagg - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Have to blame the Mexico coaching staff for not coming out to the mound after tough guy Cruz starting bleating….unless they were too embarrassed by elimination by Canada to take control of their team, or were so clueless they didn’t realize what was happening. Disgraceful in any circumstance….

  20. hasbeen5 - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Craig still wearing his Mexico gear?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Papelbon destined to be traded?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (3576)
  2. B. Belt (2346)
  3. A. Rizzo (2337)
  4. J. Hamilton (2079)
  5. C. Young (2067)
  1. R. Castillo (2056)
  2. B. Gardner (2005)
  3. H. Ryu (1943)
  4. A. Pujols (1876)
  5. C. Kershaw (1780)