Reds manager, Indians pitcher trade verbal jabs
Manager Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds, left, and pitcher Derek Lowe of the Cleveland Indians / Getty Images
(CBS/AP) CINCINNATI - An inside pitch to Indians starter Derek Lowe and comments he made afterward about Dusty Baker have the Reds manager riled up.
Cincinnati starter Mat Latos threw an inside fastball to Lowe during the fifth inning of Cincinnati's 5-3 win on Wednesday night. Lowe gestured toward Baker, who shook his finger back at him. Lowe hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch in the bottom of the inning, and both benches were warned.
Lowe suggested the inside fastball was a payback for a personal issue between him and Baker from a few years ago that he wouldn't talk about specifically. He said that Baker would deny it.
Lowe said he had "zero respect" for Baker and went on a profanity-laced rant after Wednesday's game (via MLB.com):
"Dusty will deny it. It has everything to do with him. You can go ask him. He'll deny it like he has no idea. They've been trying to do this [stuff] for years. I'd always come up with men on base. To say it didn't come from Dusty, Mat Latos was with the San Diego Padres the last four years. He has no idea what's going on. Again, you can ask him and he'll say he doesn't know [anything] about it like he always does. This goes back to my last year with the Dodgers. He made up some [bogus] story. A lot of people got involved. People almost got fired over it. You can go ask him right now and he'll say he has no idea what you're talking about. But just watch the game. Mat Latos has nothing to do with anything that has gone on. How would he know? Why in the [world] would you throw a 96 mph fastball, first pitch, inside to a pitcher? Ask him."
Baker became angry when addressing Lowe's comments before the final game of the intrastate series on Wednesday, saying the pitcher had it wrong.
"He don't respect himself because the word was that whatever he did and said, there was probably a good chance he was drinking at the ballpark at that time three or four years ago, so he don't remember what he said or what he did, OK?" Baker said with an edge to his voice.
Baker acknowledged having Latos throw inside to Lowe, but said it didn't involve any personal issue between the two of them. Rather, it was retaliation for Lowe hitting Joey Votto in the back during a game in 2009 at Great American Ball Park, when Lowe was with Atlanta. Players from both teams were hit during that series.
"I'm not denying nothing," Baker said. "I didn't order anybody to hit him, but I told him to buzz him and make him uncomfortable. That's what happened. Understand what I'm saying? Nobody hit him. But then he hit our guy.
"And what he was talking about was something that he said and did a few years ago. You've got to ask him what that was. Understand? And he got a lot of people involved in the situation that didn't need to be involved in the situation."
Baker declined to be any more specific about it, leaving that up to Lowe.
"Since he's such a big man, wants to run his mouth, tell him to run his mouth about himself," Baker said.
The Reds manager said that when Lowe looked at him in the dugout after the inside pitch, he waved his finger back to send a message about hitting Votto.
"That means don't mess with me or my team, that's what that means," Baker said.
When Lowe arrived at Great American Ball Park on Thursday, he was called into a meeting with manager Manny Acta. Lowe said he was aware of Baker's response, but wasn't going to say anything more.
"I'm not saying anything about it," Lowe said. "I don't care what he said today. I'm not saying anything."
Acta also declined to comment, saying, "I'm not into gossiping."
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