Baseball, am I right? The cause of yesterday's brawl between Mexico and Canada is being laid at the feet of the tournament's tie-breaking procedure, specifically run differential. Because of the rules, as Canada manager Ernie Whitt said, the game is always played as though it's 0-0. So when Canada was bunting with a 9-3 lead, it wasn't to run up the score or shame Mexico, it was to protect against any kind of backdoor elimination by way of a losing tiebreaker. Which is a fairly believable prospect since only the top two teams from each pool advance and Italy had previously thumped Canada 14-4. Heading into today's 4 p.m. game both Canada and the United States are at 1-1 and the winner will advance along with Italy (2-1), but things could have gotten really dicey if the United States had lost to Italy last night. There could have been a three-way tie for the last spot in Pool D, with all teams at 1-2 if the U.S. were to beat Canada.

The rules for breaking a tie are somewhat confusing—you know it's confusing when it's given a name in scare quotes: "Team Quality Balance"—but they are at least written down. From the WBC's explanation for determining a winner and a runner up in a pool where three teams are tied for the highest percentage comes the definition of Team Quality Balance (TQB):

Teams shall be ranked in order of TQB (i.e., the sum of runs scored divided by the number of innings played on offense, minus the number of runs allowed, divided by the number of innings played on defense (RS/IPO)-(RA/IPD)=TQB)). For purposes of determining TQB only the scores from the games between the tied teams are to be used in the calculation.

Now that's a lot of math for a traditionally anti-math sport but one thing is clear: scoring as many runs as possible while not giving up as many is good. Crazy written rules of baseball.