- Associated Press - Monday, March 11, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) - The violent misdeeds of the Mexican and Canadian baseball teams will go unpunished.

The World Baseball Classic decided no players will be suspended in the aftermath of Saturday’s nasty brawl between the teams. Video of the fighting spread across the globe, giving the WBC a major league dose of unwanted attention.

Organizers said Sunday that while the mayhem “runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition,” suspensions would not be appropriate because one team and possibly both will not advance to the second round.

Canada’s 10-3 victory eliminated Mexico from the competition. But the Canadians were also sent home Sunday with a 9-4 loss to the United States, which advanced to the second round in Miami.

The organizers, in a statement attributed to World Baseball Classic Inc., said punishment would be inappropriate because of the format of the tournament, which is now held every four years.

“Because at least one club _ and potentially both _ will not advance to the second round, WBCI has determined that disciplinary measures would not have a meaningful corrective impact,” the statement said.

The brawl began in the ninth inning Saturday when Canada’s Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch from Mexico’s Arnold Leon after Canadian Chris Robinson reached on a bunt single.

The organization said it spoke with representatives of the Canadian and Mexican federations Saturday night.

“We are aware of the perspectives held by both sides in a competitive environment,” the WBC said. “Nevertheless, we relayed to both teams that such an altercation is inappropriate under any circumstances and has no place in baseball.”

Canada manager Ernie Whitt said the WBC “did the right thing.”

When asked if the failure to take further action might give players license to such behavior in future WBC games, he said: “I certainly hope that’s not the case. I know it’s not the case with our team in there. … We had guys that were worried about it yesterday because of the fact of what happened. I think that if it happened again, then there would be suspensions.”

Seven players were ejected, four from Mexico and three from Canada.

Left unsaid was whether the WBC would look at changing the tiebreaker rule that was behind Robinson’s decision to bunt for a base hit with his team leading 9-3 in the ninth. In the WBC’s first round, a three-way tie is decided by overall run differential.

Mexico manager Rick Renteria said after the game he believed his players didn’t realize there was a reason behind Robinson’s decision.

“I think in just the heat of the moment you lose sight of it and maybe that’s how it occurred,” Renteria said. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

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