The World Baseball Classic has had some dramatic moments this year, but drama was at an all-time high on Saturday night when Mexico and Canada had a bench-clearing brawl in the ninth inning. Dodger third baseman Luis Cruz was in the center of the melee. Canada was leading the game by six runs at the time, and Chris Robinson bunted for a single to lead-off the inning in order to try to score as many runs as possible since there is a run-differential tiebreaking rule in the WBC. Luis Cruz fielded the bunted ball, and he was filmed telling Mexico relief pitcher Arnold Leon to “get him.” Leon proceeded to hit the next Canadian batter Rene Tosoni with a pitch in retaliation for Robinson’s bunt.
Tosoni walked toward the mound while yelling at Leon, and both benches quickly cleared which soon turned into a intense brawl. Adrian Gonzalez was quickly escorted away from the violent brawl. But Luis Cruz ended up in the middle of it all as he threw punches at opposing Canadian players. Seven players were ejected but Cruz was not one of them.
After the players began to return to their dugouts, the Canadian team and the Team Mexico fans began to exchange words. A fan threw a bottle out of the stands which hit Canadian coach Denis Boucher in the face. Shortstop Cale Lorg threw the bottle back into the stands.
Canada’s 10-3 victory now gives them a 1-1 record and Team Mexico falls to 1-2. If Team USA beats Italy Saturday night, Mexico will be eliminated. USA and Canada will clash on Sunday for the final spot in the second round. Italy has already become the first team to move on to the second round which will be played in Miami.
If Team Mexico is eliminated, Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz will return to Camelback Ranch in order to continue Spring Training.
It is unclear whether Luis Cruz will receive any disciplinary action or fine from the MLB for his involvement in the WBC brawl.
Do you think Cruz was justified in his call to retaliate?