The WBC is over. Thank God. The highlight may have been the WWF brawl between Mexico and Canada, where Los Angeles Dodgers tag team duo of Adrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz got involved in the chaos. Gonzalez represented Major League Baseball well. But nice guy Cruz, according to him, “lost it.”
The video evidence is clear. Cruz threw a right hand and landed his punch on a player to be named later from Canada. He may have lost his temper simply because the rules of WBC play allow a tie breaker based on run totals, so Canada was trying to build on their 9-3 lead in the top of the ninth. It’s a dumb rule—but hey, its WBC rules. Even the players didn’t understand them. This confusion led to a free-for-all between the two teams.
Since coming to LA last year, Cruz has been known for being an underdog and a very nice guy to Dodger fans. He played in 78 games, and Cruz had real good numbers: .297 BA, .322 OBP, .431 SLG, with 40 RBI. He also played second, short, and now has moved to third to make room for Hanley Ramirez. With a fielding percentage last year of .988, Cruz is fast becoming an All-Star caliber player.
But did the WBC help Cruz at all? I know it’s baseball, and everyone gets the opportunity to play for their home country. The players only miss some of spring training. What’s the big deal? It would have been a real big deal if Cruz would have broken that hand. Add to that how people may change their minds about Cruz if he struggles early. This could give his reputation a black eye in LA.