Canada's Jay Johnson, top left, and Mexico's Eduardo Arredondo fight during the ninth (AP Photo)
While Major League Baseball's opening day is not until March 31, there was excitement and action on the diamond in more ways than one during Canada's 10-3 romp over Mexico in World Baseball Classic Saturday afternoon. A bench-clearing, full-scale brawl broke out in the ninth inning after Mexican reliever Arnold Leon hit Canadian batter Rene Tosoni with a pitch following several inside balls and a warning to both teams by the umpire.
With a score of 9-3 at the time and the game in Arizona all but over, Canada's Chris Robinson hit a bunt single, raising tension between both clubs. Following the initial hit batter, both teams cleared the benches, with multiple fights ensuing and haymakers landed on each side. The Associated Press reports that even after fisticuffs ended, Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher was hit in the face by a full water bottle thrown from the crowd. Umpires eventually ejected seven players from the game, and police officers came onto the field to try and restore order.
MLB stars on the field at the time for Team Canada included Justin Morneau of Minnesota Twins and Joey Votto of Cincinnati Reds, as well as Los Angeles Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez for Team Mexico.
ESPN has put together video highlights of the ugly brawl.
Longer videos of the entire melee have since been posted by Youtube Users: