Larry Walker is a hockey player. Even when he was MVP of the National League, everybody knew that the guy considered himself a hockey player first and a baseball player second. As such, he knows his way around a fight, and he showed it today.
Walker is currently serving as the first base coach for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. In today’s game between Team Mexico and Team Canada, an ugly brawl broke out due to a controversial bunt by Canadian catcher Chris Robinson in the 9th inning of a blowout. Video below from YouTube:
Walker then played a number of roles as the brawl unfolded. Let’s start with peacemaker, where he most notably pulled notorious hothead Alfredo Aceves out of a pile of angry Canadians. After the game Walker had the following to say about it:
Larry Walker on Aceves: “I had a hold of him, and I thought I saw Satan in his eyes.”
— DannyKnoblerCBS (@DKnobler) March 10, 2013
For the record, that does not mean that Walker, a total bad-ass, was scared of Aceves in that moment. He was simply stating what he saw.
Walker also ensured that Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez did not get mixed up in the ugly situation.
Larry Walker said he pulled Adrian Gonzalez out of the way of the brawl. “You’re too important to the game,” he told him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2013
Not surprisingly, Walker showed class and perspective. It also shows that this brawl is not to be celebrated. Sure, I am writing this to celebrate the former Rockie, but please do not confuse that with a misunderstanding of the seriousness of what happened today. Because that was flat-out ugly, and Walker understood that as it was happening.
Bearing those sentiments in mind, Walker shifted roles in the aftermath of the situation. He went from peacemaker to proud Canadian after a foul ball was thrown from the stands onto the field and ended up at his feet.
Canada 1B coach Larry Walker just turned to crowd and popped the word “CANADA” on his jersey. I wouldn’t want to mess with Larry Walker.
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) March 9, 2013
Nobody should want to mess with Larry Walker. What he showed today is this: the dude seriously knows his way around a fight. More than that, he knows what’s important and how ugly things can get in the heat of the moment. For Rockies fans, it’s a strange opportunity to appreciate how awesome Larry Walker is.