Mexico was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic under somewhat murky circumstances earlier this week. They finished 1-2 in their pool, good for a three-way tie with Italy and Venezuela. All three teams finished 1-1 in head-to-head play, so the next tiebreaker, runs allowed per defensive inning, came into play. Mexico finished 0.01 out of the money, as Venezuela ended up with 1.11 and Mexico finished at 1.12.
However, Mexico thought their 11-9 victory was enough to get them through. The WBC’s official Twitter account retweeted an MLB Network employee who stated that Mexico simply needed to win by multiple runs to get past Venezuela. Mexico players and coaches said they relied on the information in the tweet and they may have altered their strategy had they known they needed to preserve their large lead. Alas, they’re out.
Apparently, the issue came down to their walk-off loss to Italy:
But a WBC spokesman revealed that the numbers were wrong. Mexico received credit for 17 innings, because the team did not record an out during the ninth inning of the walk-off loss to Italy. Mexico officials replied that the rule said partial innings would be used during the tabulation. MLB countered that the only way to receive credit for a partial inning was to collect an out.
Team captain Adrián González was very unhappy with the way Mexico got bounced. He came back to Dodgers camp and said that he’d never be going back to the WBC again.
“I told them to their faces,” Gonzalez said. “’You guys are unaccountable. You don’t account for your own actions. You guys have no integrity.’”
He added, “They’re trying to become the World Cup. But they’re not even close to being the Little League World Series.”
González is the face of Mexican baseball, and he’s played in four World Baseball Classics. His brother is the team’s manager, but he said he’d actively discourage potential participants from playing. Apparently, González and Mexican officials tried to ask MLB what they’d need to do to force a tiebreaker with Italy, but they never heard back. González lit into them with some angry tweets.
Try as he might, he could not convince Kenley Jansen not to go pitch for the Netherlands when they come to town.