Friday, May 20, 2011

Gibson's fall punctuates bunting practice

By Anthony Fenech / | 05/20/11

PHOENIX -- "A game winner," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said, after concluding a round of bunting practice Friday with a drag bunt towards first base. "At least in my head."

He beat the throw -- in his head -- and then he bit the dust, taking a spill behind first base after motoring down the line and trying to signal the safe sign.

"A little too much activity for the old man today," he said.

Gibson's fall drew loads of laughter from D-backs players on the field, and was marked by a chalk outline of the skipper behind the bag during batting practice.

"He was busting it down the line pretty hard," said right fielder Justin Upton. "Sometimes when you're moving as fast as he was, you can't really control yourself, especially at his age (53).

"He probably should have gone about three-quarters speed," Upton continued. "But that's the way he played the game - hard."

Gibson said the bunting practice was something the team revisited after working on it in Spring Training.

"We want to have more tools in our tool chest," Gibson said. "You never know what the situation is. If we need a bunt, we should be able to do it.

"The guys had a good attitude about it," he said. "There was a lot of competition going on down there, and it ended with a laugh, so that's good."

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