Dusty Baker refuses to shake Kirk Gibson’s hand after spring training game


There are very few things that could happen over the course of a spring training game that would result in one manager refusing to shake another manager’s hand after the game ends, but Dusty Baker and Kirk Gibson apparently found a reason on Monday.

According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, Baker and Gibson got off to a rocky start before Monday’s exhibition between the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks. The two managers reportedly had a “testy discussion” at home plate while exchanging lineups, which apparently had to do with Baker wanting to use a DH and Gibson wanting to play by standard National League rules.

“I had it happen last year with a team, they tried to put the DH in there and that’s not the way it’s done,” Gibson explained. “I wanted to play a National League game. I notified them several times and they just wanted to do it their way and they couldn’t do it. So they didn’t like that. But we play by the rules here, that’s the way it is. We go over there we play by their rules. It’s very simple.”

Arizona was the home team, and the home team gets to decide if a DH is going to be used or not during spring training. According to Gilbert, Gibson wanted to play by standard NL rules so he could get pitcher Brandon McCarthy as many at bats as possible. McCarthy, who pitched in the American League last season, needs practice at the plate. Baker wanted to use Shin-Soo Choo as a DH instead of playing him in the field, since he is nursing a minor quadriceps injury. Gibson would not give in, thus upsetting Baker.

After the game, Gibson apparently extended his hand to shake Baker’s, but Baker refused.

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

Now children, it’s only spring training. Let’s try to get along.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Around The Web

  • SpinMax

    AL should drop the DH

  • CaliMoFo7

    DH or no DH.  I really don’t care either way.  I just think it’s stupid to have two different rules under one MLB umbrella.  I know it’s NL and AL, but it’s really two conferences like the NFC and AFC.  Just pick one set of rules.

    Also, since it’s only a practice game, why not let them play with the Reds use the DH and the D-backs let their pitcher(s) hit.  It’s a win-win.  Win or lose, it doesn’t count.  Hell, play with a 10 man line-up.  Who cares.  It’s a glorified practice.

    Children, behave.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    This is stupid on Gibson’s part. Allowing Baker to use the DH wouldn’t keep him from allowing McCarthy to bat. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4SGIWNXLGKGH4CYC4RLZ552S7A J

    Dusty Baker has been a tool for 20 years as a manager and nothing ever changes.  Why this guy keeps getting manager jobs is beyond me and he will single handedly make the Reds underachieve this year as he has every team he has managed before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Wright/100000122870251 Scott Wright

    Way to go Baker,If you want to use the DH start auditioning for an AL job,Damn why does a grown man who has been lucky enough to enjoy a life in sports as long as he has show such bad sportsmanship?The league has an opportunity to get his attention with some sort of fine or suspension because if Selig doesnt make a statement now and show whos in control,Whats nexts?Good on Gibson for knowing and playing by the rules,He has always been a true sports guy and held himself out as a good amnbassador of the game,This aint Bakers first negative press,Yet the league just keeps making exceptions for some jackass’s!

  • Schleppenwolf

    Baker is a tool.  He gets all this attention from the press, yet his teams have never done squat.  When he gets a ring, let me know.  In the meantime, let him continue being the tool he is…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EECMMQM6FRU6ULS3A7IDTNHN44 Topazinator

    “My house, my rules”.  What the hell’s the matter with Dusty?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4SGIWNXLGKGH4CYC4RLZ552S7A J

    Dusty Baker has always been a tool and even in old age is still one.  Do not understand why he still keeps getting jobs.  If you want you team to underachieve and have you star pitchers arms blown up, he is your guy.  Being a Cardinal fan I have a special resentment of him over the years.