The 2013 Major League Baseball season hasn’t even started yet, but it has its work cut out for it, thanks to the World Baseball Classic. Last Saturday, Canada and Mexico faced off in a first round game of the D pool at Chase Field in Phoenix, and Canada’s merry band of hosers walked away with a 10-3 victory. No big deal, right? Wrong.
In the 9th inning of the game, with Canada up 9-3, Mexico’s pitcher Arnold Leon didn’t quite care that his allies to the north were paying attention to the WBC rules and trying to put up as many runs as possible. Instead, Leon pitched inside on Rene Tosoni, which drew a warning from the umpire, and Leon followed that up by drilling Tosoni in the middle of his back. What resulted was a bench-clearing brawl that would have made the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox blush.
Leon was rightfully ejected, but not before Teams Canada and Mexico had an all-out brawl. And for what? It was a first round game! The hilarity of the fight was that Canada was simply playing by the rules and scoring as many runs as possible, because they matter for tie breakers. Mexico’s players clearly didn’t know the rules – as evidenced by third baseman Luis Cruz letting the Canadian dugout know that he didn’t appreciate Chris Robinson’s bunt single, when they were already up by six runs.
And that’s what led to the fight, which also included Team Mexico’s fans throwing bottles at the Canadian players, who not only won the game, but also won the brawl. As the announcers pointed out, you just don’t want to mess with the hockey players. Oh, and if you think the fun is over since neither team advanced to the next round, just wait until March 25, when Leon’s Oakland Athletics face off against Tosoni’s Milwaukee Brewers in Spring Training.
In celebration of Beef Thursday, #BeefThursday is a weekly column dedicated to worst feuds, issues and fights in the world of sports. Be sure to share your choices for With Leather's beef of the week with the appropriate hashtag (#beefthursday) and make your voice heard. In case we haven't typed beef enough yet, "beef."
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