Dusty Baker knows a little something about celebrating on the baseball field and in the dugout. After all, he is credited by many with inventing the high-five.
No, really. There was an ESPN 30-for-30 about it and everything. While playing with the Dodgers in 1977, Baker returned to the dugout after hitting his 30th home run of the season and saw his teammate Glenn Burke. Burke held his hand up and Baker slapped it, therefore creating the celebration that is now common in baseball, in sports and in life, for that matter.
Baker loves to cheer on his players now as a 66-year-old manager, but has to first figure out what certain guys are okay with. Ace starter Max Scherzer, for instance, likes to be left alone during innings when he's pitching.
"I don't do it for them. I do it because that's how I feel," Baker said. "If they get something out of it, that's fine. But like Scherzer, he doesn't like me giving him fives. So, you can put your hands in your pockets. I'm serious. Scherzer doesn't like you to talk to him. Scherzer doesn't like you to do anything. Don't say 'good inning.' Don't give him some dap. So, you don't talk to him. Different guys are different ways. If they don't like it, then you don't do it."
Scherzer pitched well in his Opening Day start, so it's not because he hasn't been performing. There are some players who have started slow in the 2016 season, and Baker is waiting to get a read on them.
"We've got a few guys who have been struggling a little bit and it's hard to enjoy it when you haven't done too much. I'm waiting for everyone to do something so then I can tell you who enjoys it," he said.
Bench player Clint Robinson, for instance, was hitless through his first two at-bats before he broke out with a two-RBI single in Sunday's win over the Marlins. TV cameras caught Baker yell and and jump around in elation in the dugout. He was happy to see his player come up with a big hit and score two runs that proved necessary in a 4-2 win.
Baker wouldn't mind having more of those moments, of course.
"I enjoy it. I like when my guys do well," Baker said.