THE MODERATOR: The following players were ejected from today's game: From Mexico, Arnold Leon, Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo, Alfredo Aceves; and from Team Canada, Pete Orr, Rene Tosoni, and Jay Johnson.
On behalf of Major League Baseball, Venue Press Chief Josh Rawitch issued the following statement: On behalf of Major League Baseball, there are members of the Technical Committee who are in attendance at every game who would detail it in depth and make any recommendations to WBCI.
WBCI, which is made up of individuals from MLB and MLBPA who would then determine if any action is required. This will be looked into and there will be no comment while this is ongoing.
We'll go ahead and take an opening statement from Rick Renteria.
Q. Rick, the tournament, you never expected anything like this. What's your assessment of what happened?
RICK RENTERIA: Well, I think that all of the players were very excited. The tournament, it has different rules. And in the tournament there is differences and each team is going to try and do the best it can, as much as it can, and that's something that we were advised of from the beginning, what the players did like he did, he bunted, it was out of the ordinary, and it's not ‑‑ those are the rules for the tournament.
The other thing is, I mean, we did talk about the rules for this tournament are ‑‑ they lend themselves for these things to happen because ‑‑ I believe there was a misunderstanding, the two teams are obviously very competitive, nobody wants to lose, obviously, and unfortunately we are at a disadvantage.
Q. From your perspective, what was the nexus of the whole thing and how did it get started?
RICK RENTERIA: It was just simply, I think, a misunderstanding. In a normal setting, a normal professional setting, I should say, a 9‑3 bunt in that particular situation would be kind of out of the ordinary. But based on the rules that have been established in this tournament, the run differentials and things of that nature, it was talked about before, that those things may occur. There's things that guys stealing to try to get in scoring position, things of that nature.
And I think in just the heat of the moment you lose sight of it and maybe that's how it occurred. It was just a misunderstanding.
Q. As in any case, that means that the fight ‑‑ in any case, the players did not have to fight the game this way, right?
RICK RENTERIA: When you are involved in a fight, you have to forget. It's gone. You're thinking about what's normal. You forget about the other rules. And then it, you know ‑‑ you miss it.
These are things that you don't see ordinarily, but it's a tournament, and when they are in the middle of a fight ‑‑ when they are playing, I mean, you know, they forget. It skips their mind. And unfortunately this is what happened.
Q. How do you qualify Mexico and what's their mood?
RICK RENTERIA: We are all a bit upset, of course, obviously we would have wanted to finish today on top well, however, the first two games were very well fought. Today we tried to use up all our momentum and we tried to use all our lefties, and our players did very well and after the second inning, he was able to manage better against the left‑handers.
And then we wanted to have three or four runs to then neutralize, but unfortunately things didn't work out as we wanted them to.
Q. Did Luis Cruz walk up to Arnold Leon and ask him to hit the batter? Because there was a camera that caught him saying something to Leon before it did happen.
RICK RENTERIA: Really, I would say that you would have to ask him, but, that being said, none of the guys want to speak right now. They would rather calm down and compose themselves.
That question is assuming a fact, and I think that you guys are going to have to find out later on. That he said that? I doubt it.
Q. Rick, how do you feel about the World tournament and if you think that you could repeat this with the Mexican team, the World Classic? I don't know, you didn't ask Arnold Leon to throw the three balls?
RICK RENTERIA: As I say, what happened was that, in the heat of the game everybody needs to understand that when you're playing professional baseball, situations like this arise. And some of these things we do not consider them correct or normal. We are losing, he's pitching, and that's how the inning starts. And his mind, according to what he's used to, he's like ‑‑ he thought, well ‑‑ his mind went somewhere else.
Honestly, I don't believe that this is something that he was trying to do or that they were trying to hurt anybody. It happened. He felt that it was the right thing to do because of the bunt.
But, as I say, we all ‑‑ everybody knows of the rules, and we did talk about ‑‑ we talked with our players and we ‑‑ they knew that they had to try to score as many runs as possible. But at that one moment, he just lost it a little bit.
If they wanted to, I could talk to them, but I do not control that. I simply had the honor ‑‑ I was asked if I could do it, and they gave me the opportunity and I'm here. Unfortunately, up until now things have not worked out as we would have wanted them to work out. But we hope that in the future, if there's an opportunity and if we can do it, then we will do it.
Q. Were any of your players hurt at all in the actual fighting itself when they were involved, or just peripherally?
RICK RENTERIA: You know what? I'll be honest with you. Everybody seems to be in good health. I think that there was a lot of ‑‑ there was more ‑‑ I know the bodies kept moving everywhere, but there was a lot more people holding people back than there was real action going on. As is always the case.
Most, you know ‑‑ in fights, especially in professional baseball, unfortunately there's a ‑‑ there tends to be a blow here or there that happens to catch somebody. But fortunately for us right now, I don't believe anybody was hurt. I think most of the guys that were out there on the field, it's usually half are trying to kind of calm it down and half are still in the heat of the battle. But overall I think everybody calms down in the end of the day.
Q. Wondering, given that, whether you think perhaps the rules on the run differential should be changed.
RICK RENTERIA: Well, I think that if they're not changed maybe I needed to do a better job of explaining them to my players. I thought I had. I thought I had it understood. But as I mentioned, I think when you get into the heat of the battle of playing the game ‑‑ a lot of these guys are used to playing in their respective leagues or clubs, and when that happens in that moment, he just lost sight of it. That's all.
And, quite frankly, I didn't expect it. So I think that everybody will learn from it. I think it will be obviously a topic of conversation for everybody for a little while and maybe it will bring some light or maybe some understanding or maybe help us clarify.
Q. Good afternoon. Do you think ‑‑ do you feel that this is upsetting like it was ‑‑ we can't do anything about the past, but is there anything that you can do about the future with the rules?
RICK RENTERIA: Well, the rules are established. When you participate in a tournament that's not your tournament, you have to follow the rules. It's as simple as that. And no one is on top or no one should be away or not to go by the rules.
So what I think is that things didn't go the way we wanted. And I told them ‑‑ I just told the guys that even we have been together for five or six days, and it's very hard to tell you all that I did not to get attached to them, because each one of them since the moment they got here they were very committed to do everything that we wanted. At least that was their mentality and that was the idea.
We're not here to lose. If you would say that that's a failure, well, we were here to win and we didn't, so, yeah, you can take it as failure.
Q. What did you learn about Mexican baseball with all these players from Mexico like from the American League and from the world? What did you learn? What did you learn now after so many years in the U.S. baseball?
RICK RENTERIA: Well, I played almost part of 10 years in the Pacific League. I played part of three years in the Mexican League. What I learned were perhaps what I liked the most is that the guys are fighters. And I'm not saying that as a joke. They want to play. They want to show that they have the ability, that they have the skills to be good players, that they can compete with anybody.
And, honestly, it just didn't work out as we wanted. But it was not because we didn't work hard, because we didn't give our heart, because we didn't commit, you know, one or something, you know, things happen.
But the bottom line is the ballgame is improving. I think the guys are going ahead, and we will keep on giving them our support, because whenever they have an opportunity to attend the tournament like this, of this level, I mean, they are exposed to humongous things. They're exposed to meeting new people and to see how the game, how the sport is played all over the world.
And although things didn't work out, people know that that they're not going to walk all over us. Look at the pitchers we have. These are quality players and they committed, and unfortunately things didn't work out.