Both Luis Cruz and Adrian Gonzalez returned to Dodgers camp at Camelback Ranch on Monday morning, but in a bit of a twist all eyes were focused more on Cruz than Gonzalez. For it was Cruz who was at the center of the brawl between Mexico and Canada in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.
Monday morning was Cruz's first chance to speak to reporters about the brawl, but his answers had a familiar ring.
"I lost it. I was feeling the game, and lost it," Cruz said. "I feel bad about it, but I'm ready to move on and get ready for the season."
If Cruz had it to do over again, would he change anything?
"No, I would just say I lost it. I'm ready to come here and work and get ready for the season," he said.
Bunting while up 9-3 in the ninth inning is normally frowned upon in regular baseball, but given the run differential tie breaker does that change your opinion on the matter?
"Like I said, I lost it. I'm trying to move on, work every day and get ready for the season."
Perhaps Cruz was more upset at plays earlier in the game, when his second baseman was taken out with a late and hard slide.
"It's a game," Cruz said. "I lost it."
Gonzalez was also asked about the brawl, and the tiebreaker rule.
"I heard about the slides earlier in the game, and then the bunt got a couple guys pretty mad. I understand the tiebreaker rules right now, but some things led to that and things happened," Gonzalez said. "We understood them, but it's just a weird scenario, but the equation they have isn't just the run differential."
Was Cruz happy he wasn't suspended?
"Yep. Now I can work on everything and get ready for opening day and help this team win," he said.
But was he worried that he might get suspended?
"I can't be worried, because I can't take it back," Cruz said. "I'm ready to come here, work, and get ready for the season."
"I would just say I lost it, and feel bad," Cruz said. "But I have to move on and ready to get ready for the season."
Gonzalez, when asked if Mexico's reputation had suffered with the brawl, said, "I think there's arguments for both sides."
Manager Don Mattingly said Cruz sent him a text message on Saturday night. Cruz was asked what he sent Matingly in that text.
"I feel bad because I lost it. That's not the way I play. I'm trying to move on and get ready for the season.
Cruz was 3-for-11 with a double, a walk, and a pair of sacrifice flies in the WBC, and was happy with his play. He also remained on message.
"I had a good three games, and good at-bats. I feel really good at the plate, and playing defense. Unfortunately we couldn't advance to the next round. We did what we can," Cruz said. "But the important thing is to get ready for the season."
Say what you might about Cruz after the brawl, but the man is well coached.
Both Cruz and Gonzalez will return to the starting lineup for the Dodgers on Tuesday night against the Reds in Goodyear.