Justin Verlander pitched a quick seventh and hoped to return for the eighth inning in Friday nights win over the Indians. To return for another frame the Tigers starter would need to avoid a move so synonymous with leaving the game that it has earned the name the ‘Handshake of Doom.’
When Tigers manager Jim Leyland is ready to pull a starter after an inning he waits at the bottom of the dugout steps and gives a handshake to the pitcher. The move has earned the nickname the handshake of doom.
After the seventh inning Verlander attempted to avoid Leyland by entering the dugout though an alternate entrance. Leyland was ready for him and met him with a handshake.
Verlander talked to reporters about the move after the game. (view the 0:44 second mark)
“He always stands there right at the bottom of the stairs, so I tried to circumvent the system and not get the customary handshake,” Verlander said. “I wanted to stay in the game, so I tried to go the other way and sneak around him.”
Leyland was not in a laughing mood about Verlander’s actions.
“I don’t think that was comical at all,” Leyland said after the game. “You might think that was comical, but I don’t think that was comical at all. I don’t talk about silly stuff. Let’s talk about baseball.”