Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has ripped into team Canada for a late inning bunt to run up the score against Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. The play broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules and led to a major brawl after Mexico purposely hit a Canadian batter in retaliation.
Because the World Baseball Classic is played in brackets, runs play a big role determining who advances to the next round in case of a tie breaker.
In the ninth inning of Saturday’s game Canada was beating Mexico 9-3. Canadian catcher Chris Robinson bunted to get himself on base with no outs. He would go on to score and Canada would win 10-3. He says he did it because of the tiebreaker rules.
Jose Bautista ripped into Robinson and all of team Canada. On Sunday morning he told reporters, “I’m not buying the fact that teams are bunting when they’re up by six because of the rules of the WBC.”
According to Jose Bautista, Canada broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules by running up the score on Mexico. He believes these rules should be respected and, “everybody who plays baseball at a level higher than Little League knows what it is and there’s no excuse.”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons did not take Jose Bautista’s side. He understands what team Canada was doing. The run differential matters. In fact, Canada was knocked out of the 2006 World Baseball Classic because of run differential.
Bautista admits he does understand how high emotions run in a short tournament where players represent their home countries. He believes it’s not an excuse though, and the bunt was uncalled for.
Here is a home video of the brawl the bunt ultimately led to:
Canada now finds themselves in a winner take all with team USA. USA defeated Italy on Saturday to even their record at 1-1. Canada’s record is the same and with Italy already having advanced, only one more team can advance to the second round. It turns out run differential didn’t matter in the end.
Do you agree with Jose Bautista for ripping into team Canada like he did?