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Dusty Baker and Kirk Gibson aren’t happy with each other

Mar 4, 2013, 3:44 PM EDT

no business deal

This is a fun one.

In spring training games between NL teams the home team gets to decide if they use the designated hitter or let the pitchers hit. Usually it’s not a big deal, but apparently today’s Reds-Diamondbacks game was different.

Reds manager Dusty Baker wanted to use the DH because Shin-Soo Choo has a sore quadriceps and they still wanted to get him some at-bats. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson didn’t want to use the DH because starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy has spent his whole career in the AL and they want him to hit a little.

Gibson put his foot down, which led to the Reds keeping Choo out of the lineup and, according to Steve Gilbert of, the two managers had a “testy exchange at home plate” in which Gibson offered his hand and “Baker refused to shake it.”

Who says spring training action isn’t exciting?

  1. clydeserra - Mar 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Why can’t one team do one thing and the other do the other?

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      That would make sense.

    • mscxvd - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      because that would be the sensible thing and who wants to do that!

    • zzalapski - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      “Dusty, this is not ‘Nam. This is baseball. There are rules. Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?”

      • hep3 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        zzalapski, did you just go Walter Sobchak on us! Nice Big Lebowski reference. Don’t mess with the Jesus!

  2. danaking - Mar 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Jeez, Dusty, get over it (and yourself). it’s the home team’s call. Arizona was the home team. Gibson’s reason makes sense, not that he has to give one.

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Yeah, but it’s hard to blame Dusty – it’s so easy to be irritated by Kirk Gibson, even without extra provocation.

      • sabatimus - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Wait, you’re defending Dusty, the same guy who ruined Mark Prior’s career?

      • cogitobaseballergosum - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        The point isn’t defending Dusty, the point is Kirk Gibson could irritate the Dalai Lama.

        Mark Prior’s career has nothing to do with this.

      • Bob - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Actually it’s pretty hard to blame Kirk — it’s so easy to be irritated by Dusty Baker, even without extra provocation.

    • buddaley - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      But if Gibson can still have his pitcher hit, regardless of whether Baker has a DH, why should he care? Is it that important to him not to let the other team have an edge in spring training games? Does he want his pitchers to work on their strategies for getting pitchers out? What exactly is his reason?

      Or do both teams have to use the DH if it is allowed? I don’t think they do.

      • indaburg - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        I completely agree. I don’t understand why Gibson wouldn’t agree to a DH–it’s just a spring training game after all–and just bat his pitcher. It’s definitely allowed.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        It’s a stupid rule and they should just do away with it. Why not just have the DH for all spring training games no matter who is home. And if you want to bat your pitcher, then it is your choice. Dumb rule that baseball may end up changing next year because of stupid spats like this.

      • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        Got a better idea. Dump the DH altogether. It’s a disgrace anyway.

      • sabatimus - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Gator, I’ll consider the DH disgrace argument when the NL takes pitchers’ batting seriously. They obviously don’t. Pitchers routinely get told not to run hard down to first, and frequently they can’t even bunt properly.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Gator, you and Mrs. Verlander are the only ones who want to see JV do anything but throw. And, I’d be really mad if he hurt his arm sliding or something.

      • geoknows - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        I’m old enough – unfortunately – to remember when the DH was instituted. At the time, the rule specifically said that teams could CHOOSE to use a DH instead of having the pitcher hit. The implication was always that they didn’t HAVE to. Unless the wording of the rule has changed, there is absolutely no reason that they couldn’t have agreed to allow DHs, then the DBacks go ahead and have McCarthy hit for himself.

  3. lew24 - Mar 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Choo doesn’t have “grit”

    • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM


      • 4d3fect - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        Have at you!

  4. stlouis1baseball - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Regardless…you can bet this was Kirk’s fault. Or possibly TLR’s.
    Either way…Dusty is right.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Wow. We really need to get a sarcasm font around here.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I sign it “/s” when I’m being sarcastic…but I don’t think people always get that either.

      • paperlions - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        I always assume there is a “/s” on your posts even when there isn’t….is that not the right way to go?

      • indaburg - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Same here, ‘lions.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        Yes, that is definitely the way to go. When I think it might be too subtle, though, I do try to help out with the indicator. Sometimes people miss the jokes too…but I don’t bother to explain those. Missed jokes you just walk away from.

    • mscxvd - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      im assuming this is a joke but i dont get it.

      • indaburg - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        Scroll down and read jonrox’s joke below.

  5. kaladin69 - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Don’t see what Baker’s beef was. Home team has the right to make that decision. And Gibson even had a very good reason. Maybe Baker needs more grit…

  6. chacochicken - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Its funny because McCarthy pitched 3 innings and managed a single at bat. If Choo would have DH’ed he would likely have had 2 or 3 at bats. I fully expect Dusty to have his guys throw at the D’backs if they ever meet again. Gibby and Baker is a lot grit and guts colliding.

  7. sleepyirv - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    With Dusty Baker’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ruined Gibson’s arm at some point.

  8. jonrox - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Dusty is never wrong; just ask him

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Thanks Jon. I guess I should have been a little less subtle.

      • jonrox - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Didn’t see your comment originally, but now I feel bad for joke stealing :/

      • sportsdrenched - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Is joke stealing a reason to bean a hitter?

  9. Kevin Gillman - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Okay, I am still blaming this one on Trevor Bauer.

  10. dexterismyhero - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Gibson should have shoved that damn toothpick down Dusty’s throat.

  11. stairwayto7 - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Gibson will be out of a job by August.

  12. illegalblues - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    pretty obviously just gibson being an a******. it’s spring training, dude. get over it.

  13. stabonerichard - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    McCarthy got his one at-bat in, tapped the first pitch he saw in front of the plate, and took a light jog up the 1B line as the catcher threw him out. Ah yes… the sweet, sweet purity of NL baseball.

    • indaburg - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Damn straight.

      (Just in case… /s)

      • jwbiii - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        You obviously don’t appreciate the strategy of having a pitcher practice the fine art of the swinging bunt.

    • paperlions - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      It would have been funny if the Reds let him reach 1B to make him run the bases.

  14. Bob - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Typical Dusty Baker bullsh*t. Gibson shoulda decked him.

  15. savvybynature - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Sounds like GIbson could have allowed it since it isn’t an actual competitive game, and no one would have cared. Instead, he refused to allow it just to be a big, strutting rooster. Who cares if the Reds want to DH anyway?

    Dusty gets some deserved criticism for his player usage, rotations and substitutions, but people who think he doesn’t know the game are wrong. He has been around the game his whole life and I’d bet he knew wtf he was doing here.

    • bh192012 - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Since it’s not an actual competitive game why not let them field 5 infielders and 10 outfielders at the same time? We could have 3 pitchers strike a guy out on 1 swing of the bat, or maybe give up 3 homeruns in 1 AB! We could let squirrles pinch run or have a trash can play 1st base. Why not let Shin So Choo be the umpire, then he doesn’t have to run at all and can still evaluate live pitching?


      • savvybynature - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Ummm… because then it wouldn’t even be baseball?

  16. shaggylocks - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    No wonder he didn’t shake it: look, he’s offering his left hand!

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