NEW YORK — Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson and Manager John Gibbons brushed off their brief but heated exchange in the dugout Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

The fiery Donaldson, last year’s AL MVP, slammed his bat against the railing in frustration as he returned to the bench after striking out for the second time against New York pitcher CC Sabathia.

Gibbons, perched nearby, took exception to the outburst and approached Donaldson by the bat rack. The two men – both wearing sunglasses – were nose-to-nose for a bit before Toronto teammates Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Thole intervened.

“Definitely don’t hit me!” Gibbons said with a smile after the game. “We were just discussing the game.”

“We’ve got a great relationship. There’s a lot of back and forth,” the manager added. “He wears it on his sleeve; he’s an emotional guy. That’s part of what makes him good.”

After the game, Donaldson joked that the dust-up developed because Gibbons wanted a whiff of his cologne.

“I was just coming back to the dugout and I hit my bat against the thing,” Donaldson said. “Gibby asked me what kind of cologne I was wearing. I said, ‘It’s a new cologne called Tom Ford. I just got it.’ He was like, ‘Really?’ So he kind of got pretty close to me and I guess got a good whiff of it. I was like, ‘Hey man, back up. So, I’ll give you some after the game.’ ”

Gibbons also said he had suggested to Donaldson that he try a different bat.

“Actually, I told him after the first at-bat, get a new bat, that one ain’t working,” the manager said. “He took the same one up the second time. That didn’t work. He chose to break it. So I went down and told him, you should have listened to me. That was basically it.”

YANKEES: Owner Hal Steinbrenner said monitoring social media has convinced him New York fans are ready to embrace a Baby Bombers team that includes young players mixed with veterans.

Speaking Wednesday at a major league owners meeting, Steinbrenner said the week leading up to Alex Rodriguez’s retirement “was unfortunate at times” and that the departures of A-Rod and Carlos Beltran, who was traded, were necessary to clear a path for rookies Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin.

He praised veteran catcher Brian McCann, who has lost some playing time to Sanchez, and said of McCann’s future: “We’ll cross that bridge in the offseason when we come to it.”

Steinbrenner said the young players need mentors so “we’re always going to have free agents.”

RAYS: Second baseman Nick Franklin passed a concussion protocol test after he was hit by a teammate’s bat during Wednesday’s game against San Diego.

Kevin Kiermaier smacked the back of Franklin’s head with a bat when Franklin bent to grab pine tar in the on-deck circle before leading off the first inning in Wednesday’s game.

Franklin drew a walk and scored before leaving the game.

MARINERS: Major League Baseball owners are set to vote Thursday on the proposed sale of a controlling stake in the team from Nintendo of America to a group of minority owners led by John Stanton.

As part of the sale, Stanton will take over as control person from current chairman Howard Lincoln, who is retiring. The agreement was announced in April and approval is expected. The sale could close this week.

CUBS: Infielder Tommy La Stella will report to Double-A Tennessee, and Chicago Manager Joe Maddon said he hopes La Stella will be back with the big league team by early September.

La Stella was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on July 29 but refused to report there, and the Cubs placed him on the temporary inactive list on Aug. 9. La Stella said at the time that he was contemplating retirement.

“He’s reported to Double-A, and moving on up to Triple-A, and he’ll be back here probably by the first of September,” Maddon said.