So……something finally happened at the World Baseball Classic to provoke some American interest.
The first-round ballgame devolved into a full-fledged brawl, ripe with tussling, take-downs and tossed punches. Four Mexican players and three Canadians ended up getting ejected from the game at Chase Field in Phoenix, with more penalties possibly to come.
The drama started with the game’s fate seemingly cinched. Canada led 9-3 when its catcher, Chris Robinson, led off the ninth inning with a bunt single. His rationale was to give his team a better chance of scoring more, since total run differential is a factor in determining which teams advance in the tournament. But Mexican players saw it as a slap in the face since the result seemed out of reach, and pitcher Arnold Leon then hit Canada’s next batter, Rene Tosoni, on his upper back.
That’s when the fisticuffs began. — cnn.com
Footage of the fight right here.
Like most professional sports — football, hockey, basketball — baseball has been pussified over the years by do-gooders actually concerned for the health and well-being of the players. Much to the detriment of the sport and its entertainment value, bean balls, brawls, and bell-ringing have been declared off-limits. Somewhere along the line, somebody determined that the chunks of meat known as athletes deserve something better than outright butchery at the hands of their opponents. As a result, sports got dull.
Personally, I miss that. I remember when pitchers threw at heads, and base runners slid in with their spikes up. Players had an edge. Competition was more intense.
As a baseball fan in 21st century America, naturally I don’t give a toss for the World Baseball Classic. But if that brawl becomes the New Normal for the international competition, I’ll change my view. I’ll tune in.
BTW — if anybody wants to discuss the rule that led to this — the one about the number of runs scored which impacts a team’s seeding — I’m game. However, this is south Florida, where so-called fans don’t know shit about baseball, unless they’re also regulars at the Liquor and Rubber Balls Sports Emporium and Vivisected BBQ to Go.