Adrian Gonzalez and Team Mexico aren't thrilled with WBC rules

Mexico pitcher Miguel Gonzalez walks off the field after being relieved during the team's World Baseball Classic game against Puerto Rico in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saturday, March 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Luis Gutierrez)
Mexico definitely isn’t advancing to the next round of the World Baseball Classic, and they are not happy about it. (AP Photo)

To say that the World Baseball Classic has been exciting thus far would be an understatement. There have been tense, nail-biting games, come-from-behind wins, hit parades, stunning defense, and more passion than anyone could have expected. Every team and every player in the WBC wants to be there; the WBC matters to them.

While a few of the games have been one-sided, some teams are evenly matched. So evenly matched, in fact, that they need to resort to granular tiebreaker rules to decide who should continue in the tournament. And in Pool D, this actually happened.

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After Mexico’s 11-9 win against Venezuela on Sunday, there was a three-way tie between those two teams and Italy. They all had an 1-2 record, but only one team can actually advance. So they had to use the tie-breaker rules to see which two teams would play the tiebreaker game, with the winner of that game advancing.

To determine which two teams would play the tiebreaker game, the rules state that they need to look at runs allowed per defensive inning, which is the per-inning average of all the runs allowed whenever a team is in the field. So you want that number to be as low as possible. And even though it held off Venezuela on Sunday, Mexico’s runs allowed per defensive inning was very slightly higher than Venezuela’s. So Mexico would not be playing the tiebreaker game and would be eliminated from the WBC.

How slightly was Venezuela’s lead over Mexico? Mexico’s runs per defensive inning was 1.12. Venezuela’s? 1.11. Mexico was eliminated thanks to .01 runs per inning. And Mexico’s own Adrian Gonzalez, first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was not happy about how things went down.

That’s a tough pill to swallow for sure, and Team Mexico wanted full clarification before it conceded. So it filed a protest. And Adrian Gonzalez was there!

It’s nice that they had snacks and a cookie plate laid out for the protesting team. Protesting is hungry work!

Unfortunately for Mexico, the protest has been reviewed and it’s not good news. According to Manny Randhawa at, MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre and senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng discussed the protest, but confirmed the ruling. Mexico has been eliminated, and Venezuela and Italy will play the Pool D tiebreaker on Monday at 9 p.m. ET (on MLB Network and MLB.TV).

It’s a tough break for Mexico, which was eliminated in the first round of the 2013 WBC as well. It’ll have to wait until the 2021 WBC to try and avenge its 2013 and 2017 performances. After this tiebreaking elimination, something tells me it’ll be ready.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher