Iain Hepburn | March 10, 2013
Baseball has had its fair share of on-pitch confrontations and bust-ups, but the wild scenes between Canada and Mexico at the World Baseball Classic may have reached a new low.
Seven players were ejected from the game and Mexican fans hurled bottles and baseballs at the Canadian coaches after a mass brawl in the closing moments of the game.
The Canadians ended up 10-3 winners in the first round game in Arizona last night, but the headlines were all about the brawl between both sides.
The angry scenes were sparked after Canadian catcher Chris Robinson bunted, prompting Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz to suggest pitcher Arnold Leon throw at the next Canadian batter.
Leon brushed back Canada’s Rene Tosoni and, despite being warned by the umpire, his next pitch hit Tosoni in the ribs.
As Tosoni walked towards the mound to confront the pitcher, the teams ran onto the field. Punches were exchanged as police and security officials stepped in to separate the sides and calm the crowd at Chase field.
“I can’t believe he didn’t get tossed for instigating the whole thing,” Canadian batting coach Larry Walker told Yahoo! Sports after the fight.
Walker claimed he had tried to act as peacemaker when he grabbed Mexico’s Alfredo Aceves during the height of the scrap.
“I think I saw Satan in his eyes,” Walker said.
The wild scene spilled over into the stands, with Canada’s coach, Denis Boucher, being struck in the face by a bottle thrown by Mexico fans, who rained down foreign objects on the Canadian coaches and players beneath them.
Tosoni and Leon were both ejected, along with Mexico’s Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo and Aceves, and Canada’s Pete Orr and Jay Johnson.
Tournament officials confirmed afterwards they will review the matter, with further penalties – including suspensions – possible.
Watch the incredible brawl for yourself below: