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Gibson, Baker have angry exchange over DH in spring game

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Remember this when the Reds and Diamondbacks meet in June. Remember it if they meet in October.

Remember that Kirk Gibson and Dusty Baker couldn't even get along in the first week of March.

Gibson and Baker had an angry exchange before Monday's Cactus League game because the Reds wanted to use a designated hitter and the Diamondbacks refused. The two managers argued after exchanging lineup cards. And while it didn't really get heated, Baker waved Gibson away when the Diamondbacks manager put his hand out to shake.

"We didn't have a very pleasant encounter at home plate," Baker told reporters.

"Good locker-room talk," Gibson said.

The Diamondbacks had told the Reds through various channels that they wanted to play Monday's game without a DH. The DH rule is often used even by National League teams early in spring training. But by rule, it's up to the home team to agree to it.

Gibson wanted pitcher Brandon McCarthy to get an at-bat because McCarthy is coming over from the American League. He also wanted a chance to work on bunt defense (although that didn't happen because Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto simply took three strikes in his only at-bat).

The Reds wanted the DH because Shin-Soo Choo, battling tightness in his legs, wasn't ready to play in the field.

The Diamondbacks thought the issue was resolved and were surprised (and upset) when, on Monday morning, the Reds sent over a lineup that included Choo as DH.

"They knew we were going to do it that way," Gibson said. "I wanted to play a National League game. They wanted to do it their way.

"We play by the rules here."

 
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