PHOENIX — The violent misdeeds of the Mexican and Canadian baseball teams will go unpunished.
The World Baseball Classic decided no players will be suspended in the aftermath of Saturday’s nasty brawl between the teams. Video of the fighting spread across the globe, giving the WBC a major league dose of unwanted attention.
The organizers said Sunday that while the mayhem “runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition,” suspensions would not be appropriate because one team and possibly both will not advance to the second round.
Canada’s 10-3 victory eliminated Mexico from the competition. Canada faces the United States on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the WBC’s second round.
The organizers, in a statement attributed to World Baseball Classic Inc., said punishment would be in inappropriate because of the format of the tournament, which is now held every four years.
“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,” the statement said.
The brawl began in the ninth inning Saturday when Canada’s Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch from Mexico’s Arnold Leon after Canadian Chris Robinson reached on a bunt single.
The organization said it spoke with representatives of the Canadian and Mexican federations Saturday night.
“We are aware of the perspectives held by both sides in a competitive environment,” the WBC said. “Nevertheless, we relayed to both teams that such an altercation is inappropriate under any circumstances and has no place in baseball.”
Canada manager Ernie Whitt said the WBC “did the right thing.”
When asked if the failure to take further action might give players license to such behavior in future WBC games, he said: “I certainly hope that’s not the case. I know it’s not the case with our team in there.”