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No punishment issued as result of WBC fracas

The SportsXchange

World Baseball Classic Inc. announced there would be no fines or suspensions as the result of an on-field brawl in the ninth inning of Canada's 10-3 victory over Mexico.

More punches were thrown than landed in Saturday's melee in Phoenix, but several players clearly had malicious intent. Seven were ejected and a handful of fights erupted in the announced crowd of 19,581. Not among them were All-Star caliber Major League Baseball participants Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was physically restrained by Team Canada first base coach Larry Walker.

"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 read. "Thus, discipline will not be imposed beyond today's seven game ejections."

The managers said in their postgame press conference that the tiebreaking rule that implements run differential to determine which team advances to the second round was the root of the issue.

Canada's Rene Tosoni was drilled in the back by a pitch from Mexico's Arnold Leon, which prompted the fight.

"There's got to be another method other than the scoring runs, running up the score on the opposing team," said Ernie Whitt, Team Canada manager. "No one likes that. That's not the way baseball's supposed to be played. There's professionalism that we're all accustomed to here in North America. And unfortunately teams are knocked out of the tournament because other teams run up the score on them. Unfortunately that's what you have to deal with when you have that type of format."

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