From Little League through college baseball, the players and coaches from both teams line up after the game and acknowledge each other for a good game. In the pro game that doesn’t happen.
COACH HENZE’S ANSWER
Good question Dennis! My answer will clearly be my own opinion as I don’t know of any “rule” about this.
In professional baseball (and other professional sports), it is a business/career/job. I don’t think it is that important for them to show the post-game sportsmanship, however I do think their sportsmanship during the game and during life, in general, is very important.
As a youth player, it is important to “teach” the kids this sportsmanship which is why they should shake hands after the game. Kids/young adults may not have the maturity to, on their own, go and congratulate an opposing player/coach after the game, so the required hand-shake is a symbol of this learning.
In my opinion also, I think some adults have taken this type of teaching too far in youth sports today. Now, during pre-game, for MN High School basketball, players must go and shake hands with another player AND the coach during pre-game introductions. After the game, they must shake hands also. The pre-game ceremony seems pointless to me. Let the kids focus on the game strategy and how to help their team play well. The post-game handshake is totally appropriate and should continue.
In summary, professional athletes are adults and should act that way in all situations. Many of the players seek out opposing team players and coaches to talk after the game and congratulate them. More importantly, our professional players should model sportsmanship on and off the field for our youth players to see. The hand-shake after games don’t mean anything if they don’t show it on and off the field.