More Like Jerk Gibson
It is not unusual for Kirk Gibson to appear to be on a moon-scraping dose of Oxycontin, his empty words plopping out of his mouth as if he is the subject of a mind control experiment. And throw out the fact that he is obsessed with the mystic realm of Clubhouse Chemistry. Today he acted especially stupid.
The Lead In
On Monday afternoon, two games were about to begin simultaneously. In Surprise, The Rangers were set to take on the Padres. At Salt River Fields, the Diamondbacks were about to host the Reds. Dusty Baker, the manager of the visiting club was hoping to play Shin Soo Choo at DH, as the newly acquired outfielder has been limited due to a quad issue. But Kirk Gibson’s starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, is coming over from the AL, and Gibson wanted him to get some reps at the dish.
During Spring Training, the home team’s manager decides whether the game will be played under National or American League rules. Baker apparently requested several times to be allowed the DH, but Gibson denied him each time.
Baker, irritated, filled out his lineup card as if Gibson had granted him the DH. The men met with the umpires at home plate and Gibson saw that Baker had disregarded his belligerence, and became furious. The two had a heated exchange and as you’ll soon see, Gibson was in the wrong.
How Reasonable Men Act
Across town the Padres and Rangers began play without incident. The Rangers, at home, naturally decided to play the game under American League rules. But the Padres’ Bud Black, whose preference it was to preserve the National League game for his club, just put his pitcher in the lineup. By doing so, Black surrendered the DH, as every American League manager is allowed to do, every game, even in the regular season, even in the middle of the game.
So, rather than being a childish bully, Kirk Gibson could have stated to the umpires that the game was being played under American League rules. Then, with Dusty Baker’s DH intact, Gibson could have dissolved his own by penciling his pitcher into the nine hole. There are two explanations for why he did not. Either he doesn’t know that he is able to do that, which makes him an Ass… or he knew and just wouldn’t, which makes him an Asshole.
It Gets Weirder
The kicker here is that earlier in Spring Training the Diamondbacks had to ask to use the Athletics’ practice fields due to slush having covered their own, a result of the previous day’s melted snow. The A’s granted them use of their facilities for the afternoon, but Oakland GM Billy Beane requested to his counterpart with the Diamondbacks, Kevin Towers, that his club be able to use the DH in a later Cactus League meeting between the two teams. Gibson had no complaints, as he had already granted Bob Melvin the ability to do so.
We’re Left Wondering
Either Gibson is so competitive that he is unwilling to grant another National League club even the most trivial of favors, or he just hates Dusty Baker. I guess there is a third possible explanation, which is that Gibson was either too much or not enough medicated when he made one decision or the other.
The lesson here is simple. Nice guys, like Ron Washington and Bud Black, make life easy for themselves and for others. But by being a dick, you make everyone’s life shittier, including your own, like Kirk Gibson. Have a fun year, Snakes.