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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Dusty Baker won’t shake Kirk Gibson’s hand because of DH rule during spring training

Arizona’s Kirk Gibson offered his hand to shake, and Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker kept his to himself, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert wrote Monday. The managers had what was described as a “testy” meeting at home plate over whether to use the DH in the Diamondbacks-Reds’ Cactus League game.

As the home team, the D-backs had the privilege of choosing. That’s the rule for spring training, even in a game with two NL teams that don’t usually use the DH during the regular season. Arizona wanted right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who has spent his entire career in the AL where pitchers don’t usually hit, to get some batting experience during a game. Fair enough. The Reds wanted to use the DH so Shin-Soo Choo could get some plate appearances without having to play the outfield. He’s nursing a sore quad. Sounds right.

Gibson wouldn’t budge. The DH was not used. Choo didn’t start as a precaution. Baker didn’t shake hands.

Here’s Gibson’s take, via Gilbert:

  “It was a good locker room talk. Read between the lines.”

And Baker’s, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:

  “We didn’t have a very pleasant encounter at home plate,” Baker said. “That’s how it goes. It’s over.”

This is why the DH needs to be universal. No more arguments ever!

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2013 at 12:16 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, reds

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 05, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4380698)
Sounds like Dusty doesn't have much if a ##### here. Not like Arizona did it just for the hell of it.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4380708)
Sounds like Dusty doesn't have much if a ##### here. Not like Arizona did it just for the hell of it.


Well, there was nothing preventing the Diamondbacks from playing the game with DH rules then opting not to use one. It would put them at a competitive disadvantage, sure, but I can't see why they'd care about that in a ST game.

   3. Morty Causa Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4380726)
Kirk should just say a silent prayer: thank you, Lord, for giving me the pretext never to allow Dusty Baker to touch me again.
   4. bigglou115 Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4380738)
Ok, I know I've seen ST games where one team used the DH and the other didn't. Can't remember if it was the home team that used the pitcher, but as stated above that's legal. Too much of ST is gentleman's agreements. Nothing stops teams from going 20 innings in ST, the teams agree at the end of 10 or sometimes give the home team an extra at bat when they're ahead in the 9th. If ST needs to be a DH league then that should be codified, hopefully the D-Backs aren't banking on McCarthy's bat.

That said, if its home team picks its home team picks, get Choo his ABs next time your home.
   5. Dan Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4380739)
Well, there was nothing preventing the Diamondbacks from playing the game with DH rules then opting not to use one. It would put them at a competitive disadvantage, sure, but I can't see why they'd care about that in a ST game.


This would be the typical move by anyone with typical professional courtesy. Just a dick move to deny the other team the use of the DH in a freaking Spring Training game if they need it to get a guy some ABs.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4380744)
Well, there was nothing preventing the Diamondbacks from playing the game with DH rules then opting not to use one.


Maybe nobody thought of that.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:28 AM (#4380747)
I would imagine that the common practice is if the visiting NL manager asks to use DH rules, the home team generally grants it (since they can still choose whether they want to employ a DH, and probably want the courtesy extended to them when the situation is reversed. In a non-competitive game like this, there's no benefit to rejecting the request). Whether Gibson breaking that protocol warrants a handshake snub is another matter, but we know Dusty's pretty good at holding a grudge (a trait he shares with fans of his previous club).

   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:29 AM (#4380748)
Neither manager acquitted himself well here.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:35 AM (#4380756)
#8

Agreed. Gibson would seem to care a bit much for this game, or is just trying to raise Baker's ire. Baker, however should have just taken the high ground, shaken his hand and walked off the bigger man.
   10. Cabbage Posted: March 05, 2013 at 01:46 AM (#4380766)
Men playing children's game act childish. Meh.
   11. KJOK Posted: March 05, 2013 at 03:52 AM (#4380844)
McCarthy's certainly not going to pitch long enough to get more than one AB, is he? Two at the absolute most. And that one AB is going to help him learn to hit more than some extra batting practice? Arizona may have been within their rights but I can see why Dusty would think it was wrong.

   12. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 05, 2013 at 04:26 AM (#4380849)
I am not actually advocating for this (I love the guy) but given McCarthy's history, it would have been hilarious if Dusty had ordered a brushback pitch to him.

It looks like McCarthy did indeed get one AB and grounded out on the first pitch.
   13. BochysFingers Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4380923)
This was a Spring Training game, right? Why is Baker so upset?
   14. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4380936)
Baker overreacted, but he's got a point. If getting McCarthy one AB is really that big a deal, there was absolutely no reason Gibson couldn't have just let him hit for himself instead of using the DH, and there's no way he wasn't aware of that.

This was a Spring Training game, right? Why is Baker so upset?

Because it was a spring training game, so there was no reason for Gibson to refuse Baker's request.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4380943)
This was a Spring Training game, right? Why is Baker so upset?


Probably because Dusty, having managed in the NL for 20 years, knows there's absolutely no upside for the home manager to reject the request, and doing so is, as Dan notes, just dickish.

Look at this sitaution here: The Diamondbacks cited reason for not wanting the DH was to get McCarthy some looks at live pitching. Fine. But if you opt to use the DH, rather than not, you could get McCarthy two or three at bats instead of just the one he was almost certain to get by playing under NL rules.

If you use the DH, you can start someone in the DH hole, then lift him for McCarthy at some point in the game, letting McCarthy get some ABs. Then, instead of letting McCarthy pitch the first 2 innings, you designate him to pitch the last two (and you can ensure 8-9 are the last two by telling Dusty that you'll agree to the DH rule if he agrees to end the game after the ninth inning), removing the DH from your lineup when you shift your DH to a field position. Everyone wins.

Gibson didn't just limit Dusty's options, he limited his own.
   16. Hack Wilson Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4381029)
Dusty has always been rude, I remember the time he refused to shake hands with Moises Alou.
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4381047)
The DH is an abomination, so Gibson's clearly in the right here.
   18. Morty Causa Posted: March 05, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4381069)
As Alfred Hitchcock once told the hyper-serious Ingrid Bergman: "Ingrid, it's only a movie."
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4381505)
#16, so true. That was right around the time he yanked Mark Prior and Kerry Wood's right arms off. So it cuts both ways.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4381541)
Then, instead of letting McCarthy pitch the first 2 innings, you designate him to pitch the last two (and you can ensure 8-9 are the last two by telling Dusty that you'll agree to the DH rule if he agrees to end the game after the ninth inning), removing the DH from your lineup when you shift your DH to a field position

By the 8th inning, the Reds might be fielding an AA line-up. That's why you seldom see a team use its closer in the 9th inning in early ST -- more often than not they follow the starter to pitch against the other team's better players. Seem like Baker could have alleviated some of the difficulty by pinch hitting for the pitcher. Much about nothing.
   21. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4381554)
Aren't there Dback hitters that could use some at-bats? If I'm the manager of an NL team, I'm requesting this all spring training long, if only to get my hitters in better game shape and/or take a longer look at guys I'm undecided about.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4381574)
By the 8th inning, the Reds might be fielding an AA line-up. That's why you seldom see a team use its closer in the 9th inning in early ST -- more often than not they follow the starter to pitch against the other team's better players.


If that's important to you, then you simply opt not to use a DH yourself. But there's no non-spite based reason to turn down a request from the visiting team in Spring Training. You can criticize Baker for the handshake snub, but Gibson was undeniably in the wrong here.

   23. SOLockwood Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4381591)
Since they fool around with the rules in Spring Training anyway, why not ask to let McCarthy stay in as DH after he pitches?
   24. Poster Nutbag Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4381612)
Gibson is a dick. Dusty too.

Gibson had options (as stated above by simply opting to use DH but have McCarthy hit anyways)

Dusty had options (Shake his hand and/or have Choo PH)

They're both childish pricks.
   25. Lars6788 Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4381624)
Dusty has always been rude, I remember the time he refused to shake hands with Moises Alou.


I wouldn't shake my hands with Moises Alou either, though maybe this is your point.

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