GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals star Yadier Molina has criticized Major League Baseball and the local authorities for a lack of security around the families of Puerto Rico's players at the World Baseball Classic.
A fight broke out in the stands Saturday night before the ninth inning of the game between Puerto Rico and Mexico at the Charros de Jalisco stadium. Players from Puerto Rico came out of the dugout because many of their families were seated close to the disturbance — Molina was visibly upset and Javier Baez attempted to jump the fence.
"MLB, it's a shame that you are more interested in making money and not in the security of our family," Molina said Sunday via his Instagram account. "It's 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 this event, no security for the players families, it's a shame MLB."
The game was stopped for nearly five minutes while the police came to calm things down. The stadium announcer repeatedly asked for players to return to the dugout.
"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," MLB said in a statement. "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."
On Sunday, security was clearly tightened around the players' families when Puerto Rico took on Italy at the stadium and there were no incidents.
"What happened it's very unfortunate, beyond who was to blame for it, it's something that can't happen. As a grown man I was not afraid but we feared for the small children around," Hiram Burgos, the father of Puerto Rico's pitcher with the same name said to the AP. "It's my understanding that they brought more security in the area and we're very relaxed today."
Puerto Rico won the game against Mexico 9-4.
"I was scared," Baez said. "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."