DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Don't count Jose Bautista among those who felt Team Canada was simply playing by the rules during Saturday night's controversial game versus Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Bautista was watching when Canadian catcher Chris Robinson bunted to lead off the ninth inning with his club up by six runs. Mexico took exception to the bunt and pitcher Arnold Leon then proceeded to hit Toronto's Rene Tosoni later in the inning.
That prompted an ugly benches-clearing incident, and while every run matters at the international tournament, Bautista still feels as though some of the game's ethics were violated by Robinson.
"I believe in the unwritten rules of the game," Bautista told reporters Sunday morning. "They should be respected. It's a code amongst players and everybody who plays baseball at a level higher than Little League knows what it is and there's no excuse."
The comments can be taken as somewhat controversial considering Canada needed to score as many runs as possible because of the tournament's rules. If the United States had lost to Italy on Saturday night, then there was a scenario in which three teams -- including Canada -- could have finished tied with a 1-2 record.
The tiebreaker then would have been based on run differential. In a regular-season game, bunting to lead off the ninth would have been considered a definite no-no, but Bautista felt the same guidelines should have been applied in this scenario as well.
It's a view that isn't necessarily shared by Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
"The run differential matters," Gibbons said. "Everybody knows that, so it shouldn't really surprise anybody. If that determines whether you move on or not, I'm sure the other side would have probably done the same thing, I would think."