Puerto Rican players voiced concern over security issues at their World Baseball Classic site in Mexico after a fracas broke out in the stands near a section populated by the players’ family members.
Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 9-4 on Saturday night, a game delayed when its players flooded the area near home plate to make sure family members were safe during a melee among fans at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco.
Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez and the stadium’s public-address announcer urged the players to return to the dugout during the eighth-inning disruption, but many – most visibly infielder Javier Baez – wanted to ensure the safety of their relatives.
Catcher Yadier Molina expressed his displeasure with conditions in a fiery Instagram post Sunday.
“MLB, it’s a shame you are more interested in making money and not the security of our family. It’s a shame that the players have to worry about the security of our family when you were supposed to have security for them…Horrible organization for this event.”
World Baseball Classic Inc., the organization run jointly by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players' Association, issued a statement Sunday on Saturday's incident.
Photos: Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina
"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. 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."
Baez at one point attempted to climb over the wall to the area before he was talked back to the field. He hit a game-clinching home run one inning later.
“I was scared,” Baez told reporters. “I heard the game’s announcer asking us to return to the dugout, but I noticed that the problems were in the section where my family was. I just wanted to check because my mother was there and she is very important for me.
“I got a little desperate, yes, because I hadn’t seen what happened, but everything was under control.”
Puerto Rico plays its final game in pool play today against Italy, and is likely to advance to second-round play in San Diego.
Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz in Miami
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