In recent days, the World Baseball Classic has produced some dramatic games in front of spirited crowds. During one game on Saturday, the crowd was a bit too spirited as fans from Mexico and Puerto Rico clashed.
Before the start of the ninth inning, a skirmish took place in the stands, causing the Puerto Rico bench to empty as players went to check on family. The response by security caused MLB players to blast the league for not providing enough security at the stadium.
The game was played near Guadalajara, Mexico. MLB organizes the World Baseball Classic, which features players from 16 nations.
Puerto Rico catcher Yadier Molina expressed his displeasure with MLB on his Instagram account. Molina also plays for the St. Louis Cardinals.
"MLB,,, its a shame that you are more interested in making money and not in the security of our family," Molina said via his Instagram account. "Its a shame that the players have to be worried about the safety of our family when you were supposed to have security for them,, Horrible organization for the this event, no security for the players family,,, its a shame MLB."
Molina's national teammate Francisco Lindor called Saturday's incident "frightening."
"It's a little bit frightening because of our families, and we're also fans. One has to -- this is a family environment, and when we saw they were in our families, you're thinking about your wives and your children, your relatives," Lindor said. "I know the fans of México, they are good fans, but well, the rivalry between Puerto Rico and México is part of the game. It's too bad that something happens like this, such a beautiful atmosphere, so big and so beautiful."
MLB responded to Molina's comments in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"During last night's game, an incident occurred at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco between a fan and family members of Team Puerto Rico," an official in Mexico wrote in an email to the Post-Dispatch. "Security staff responded quickly and relocated the families to a new area. Stadium security is always our main priority and we will make every effort to prevent another such situation."
Puerto Rico won the showdown with Mexico 9-4.