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Alfredo Aceves: ‘You’re just trying to defend and knock them out’

03.11.13 at 1:40 pm ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves returned to Fort Myers to rejoin his team following Team Mexico’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic, armed with a duffel bag adorned in the green, white and red of his home country. He made one appearance on the mound in the WBC, permitting two runs on five hits in three innings of relief in Mexico’s 6-5 loss to Italy. The opportunity to participate, Aceves said, represented a tremendous opportunity.

“It’s pretty cool, you know. What that means, to represent the country, is pretty cool. Everybody loves to do that,” said Aceves.

Of course, Aceves’ most notable involvement in the WBC occurred in rather unusual fashion. The right-hander was involved in a wild brawl between Mexico and Canada that included Phillies outfield prospect Tyson Gillies blindsiding Aceves with a punch to the right side of his head. After Aceves hopped up from the ground, he started to pursue Gillies only to be tackled by a gang of Canadian players and coaches.

Asked if he knew why Canada or Gillies seemed intent on going after him, Aceves could not offer a specific answer.

[AUDIO: Alfredo Aceves talks about his World Baseball Classic experience for Mexico including getting punched in game against Canada.]

“Who’s Gillies? Oh, no. That was the first time I saw him there. Like I said, it’s part of the game. He was trying to defend his team. If it were me, I’d try to do the same thing,” said Aceves. “What can I say? It didn’t surprise me when he threw me to the floor. I reacted to it, because I didn’t do nothing to him. I was just calming down. The fighting was with the pitcher and the hitter. So I was saying, ‘Calm down, man, calm down, come on, man.’ And he just grabbed me and threw me on the floor. So I was like, ‘I’m going to throw you on the floor, man.’ Then when I jumped in to this guy, I had seven guys against me.”

Asked if he was concerned about the possibility of injury to his elbow or shoulder in the pile up, Aceves suggested his focus was elsewhere.

“You’re locked in. You’re just trying to defend and knock them out. That’s it. We were trying to defense ourselves. We didn’t do nothing to him. He just threw me,” said Aceves.

Despite the attention he received from team Canada, Aceves said he’s fine, and that his wounds are limited to “a blister on my head.” (He also has some bruising and discoloration on his noggin.) He took part in pitchers’ fielding practice on Monday, and also threw on flat ground. He foresees no limitations on his activities now that he’s back in Sox camp.

“I’m pretty much on track,” he said.

Read More: alfredo aceves, Canada, mexico, world baseball classic
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