FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves arrived back to Spring Training on Monday, and he took down the Mexican flag that had adorned his locker during his absence.
Though Team Mexico didn't go as far as Aceves would have liked, he was still happy for the experience.
"It's pretty cool," said Aceves. "What that means, to represent the country, is pretty cool. Everybody loves to do that."
At the same time, Aceves knows that his participation in the Classic will be remembered for his visible role during the fracas between Mexico and Canada in Sunday's elimination game.
The incident started because Mexico -- not being fully aware of the run-differential tiebrakers that are part of the tournament -- took offense to Canada bunting when the game was already out of reach.
Several players from Canada targeted Aceves, for whatever reason, and dragged him to the ground.
Phillies Minor Leaguer Tyson Gillies, in particular, was aggressive in his pursuit of Aceves.
"It's part of the game," said Aceves, who added that he has no history with Gillies. "He was trying to defend his team. If it were me, I'd try to do the same thing."
The key thing for Aceves and the Red Sox is that the pitcher did not suffer an injury.
"It didn't surprise me when he threw me to the floor," Aceves said. "I reacted to it, because I didn't do anything 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."
From that eventfulness, Aceves settled back into the normalcy of camp on Monday, participating in pitchers' fielding practice. He isn't sure when he will resume game action.
"I've got to get with [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves], because we didn't plan him in, not knowing how long they'd stay [in the tournament]," said manager John Farrell. "He'll be back on the mound soon. He had two appearances there, one in an exhibition and a three-inning stint that was 52 pitches."