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article imageJose Bautista risks ire of Canada with criticism of national team

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 10, 2013 in Sports
Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista may have raised the ire of more than a few Canadian baseball fans with comments on the country's national team Sunday. Bautista said Canada is at fault for the Canada-Mexico slugfest at the World Baseball Classic.
A 9th-inning brawl started at the game in Phoenix Saturday after Canadian catcher Chris Robinson lead off the inning with a bunt-single. Canada was up 9-3 at the time and went on to win, 10-3, and there is an unwritten code that says teams don't run up scores by bunting late in the game. Mexican pitcher Arnold Leon then intentionally hit Canadian batter Rene Tosoni and the benches cleared.
Bautista puts the blame fully in the Canadian dugout for playing small-ball with such a big lead. “I believe in the unwritten rules of the game." Bautista told media. "They should be respected. It’s a code amongst players and everybody who plays baseball at a level higher than Little League knows what it is and there’s no excuse.”
World Baseball Classic uses run-differential
Bautista said the "unwritten rules" remain despite the written rules of the WBC, which say that in the event of a tie after the round-robin portion of the tournie it shall be the team with the best run differential that advances. That is arguably a big omission on the part of Bautista given that in the 2006 tournament, Canada failed to advance because of their run differential.
Canadian manager Ernie Whitt, who won two World Series crowns while with the Jays in the early-90's so knows a bit about winning, wasn't having any of that unwritten code stuff. Whitt said his team is playing to get into the next round and ultimately win the tournament. That means doing whatever they can to make sure a repeat of 2006 doesn't occur.
Three Canadian players and four Mexican players were ejected from the game. Tournament officials issued a statement Sunday saying the brawl was not in the spirit of sportsmanship for which the WCB is intended. However, the statement said there will be no further discipline.
Mexico is out of the tournie and goes home. Bautista, from the Dominican Republic, is not playing for his country because Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos felt the risk of re-injuring his wrist was too great.
Note: Canada lost, 9-4 to the U.S. Sunday and is now also out of the tournament.
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