No Surprise that Alfredo Aceves is Involved in WBC Brawl

By Jonathan Cullen
World Baseball Classic Brawl
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

A brawl broke out in the waning moments of the World Baseball Classic game between Team Canada and Team Mexico.

And somehow Boston Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves managed to find a way to stand out in the middle of a brawl with 50 plus people on the field.

Watching replays of the brawl, Aceves went rushing into the pile and started fighting immediately with the Canadian players, throwing punches and attacking the players.

Once you see Aceves go into the pile and hit players from behind, you can see him suffer a couple of punches from Team Canada before he is lost in the pile.

Even more concerning is the quote from Canada’s first base coach Larry Walker, who had the unfortunate task of keeping Aceves under control after taking his licks from Team Canada.

Walker can be seen holding Aceves by the jersey and blocking his attempts to get back into the fray. He was quoted as saying afterwards about Aceves “I had a hold of him, and I thought I saw Satan in his eyes.”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so alarming.

For a player who has already run into issues with his new manager John Farrell this spring, after a year of problems with Bobby Valentine last season, this doesn’t bode well.

After Mexico’s Arnold Leon had missed twice in attempting to hit Canadian batter Rene Tosoni, he was warned by home plate umpire Brian Gorman and Leon proceeded to hit Tosoni in the back with the next pitch.

Ostensibly, all of this occurred because of the run differential rule being a part of advancement. Either team Mexico didn’t know about the rule or didn’t care, but they took offense at Team Canada continuing to try and score.

Mexico was upset that Canada’s catcher Chris Robinson bunting for a base hit with Canada already ahead. Canada was still attempting to score runs during the ninth inning of the game by bunting for a base hit down the third base line to start the inning.

Mexico’s third baseman Luis Cruz picked up the bunt hit and pointed directly and encouraged his pitcher, Leon, to hit the next batter.

My advice to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington between now and the beginning of the season is to make the best deal that he can for Aceves. He should hope that he pitches well this spring training and just move him and move on before the start of the season.

To borrow a line about another Red Sox player, maybe it is just Aceves being Aceves.

But the Red Sox don’t need the drama this year and Aceves needs to go.

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