09/09/11 8:53 PM ET
La Russa weighs in on Morgan; Pujols mum
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Following an on-field exchange during the Cards and Brewers that night, Morgan referred to Pujols as "Alberta" and repeatedly called the three-time Most Valuable Player a "she." Pujols had been the first player to move toward Morgan after Morgan and Chris Carpenter exchanged words. Pujols said after the game that his intent was to prevent Carpenter, who was working on a shutout, from getting involved in a melee.
Morgan also posted a message on Twitter referring to "those crying birds."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa did have a comment on Morgan, though he also said that he hopes he's now done talking about the topic. He said he has no problems with Cardinals players using Twitter, as long as they remain smart about it.
"If they ever used it like he did, we would ban tweeting," La Russa said.
"I see in the paper where members of the [Brewers] organization were going to talk to [Morgan]. I think it's over. I'm not worried about people thinking that Albert is anything other than Albert. So I think their concern is what it means to their organization. They don't need to worry about ours. They don't need to worry about our player."
Carpenter clarifies role in Morgan incident
ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter felt he needed to make something clear on Friday afternoon.
Shortly after the Cardinals' clubhouse opened prior to St. Louis' game against Atlanta, Carpenter called two reporters over to his locker to clarify his explanation of the events late in Wednesday night's Cards-Brewers game. It had been reported on MLB.com and elsewhere that Carpenter did not say anything at the beginning of the incident that led to Nyjer Morgan being ejected, and Carpenter wanted to make it known that that wasn't the case.
Carpenter acknowledged that, after he struck out Morgan, he did in fact yell a profanity from the mound before turning and walking away. That was followed by Morgan returning verbal fire as well as throwing his tobacco toward the pitcher's mound. Albert Pujols made his way over from first base in hopes, Pujols said that night, of keeping Carpenter from getting into any kind of trouble in the midst of a shutout. The benches and dugouts emptied. The disagreement never turned into a fight, but it wasn't pretty and Morgan was tossed.
As Carpenter saw coverage of the incident, he realized he was portrayed as having denied he said anything at all at the start of the exchange. He said Friday that he did not want to be misrepresented or made a liar. He did offer a profanity in Morgan's direction, he said.
But Carpenter wanted to make another point in tandem with that admission. He noted that while he said something once to Morgan, Morgan said a lot of similarly out-of-line things, repeatedly, over the course of Wednesday night and in prior starts as well. Each time, he said, he ignored it -- until he struck out the Milwaukee outfielder in what will be their final head-to-head plate appearance of 2011.
So while the veteran right-hander acknowledged that in this specific incident, he did speak first, he emphasized that the specific incident did not occur in a vacuum. It was the continuation of a lengthy series of exchanges in which Morgan was the aggressor and the first one to speak.
Cardinals Care hands out $200K in grants
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals Care, the charitable arm of the Cardinals, made its annual summer grant presentations on Friday afternoon. The organization handed out approximately $200,000 in grants to 93 area non-profit groups in an afternoon ceremony at Busch Stadium.
Cards right-hander Jake Westbrook was among those in attendance as Cardinals Care handed out checks.
Cardinals Care works year-round to support organizations in the St. Louis area that support children. Its primary annual fundraisers are the Winter Warm-Up fan festival and the Run Home For Kids, a six-kilometer road race.
The Cardinals have announced their plans for Sunday's ceremonies to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The team will replay Jack Buck's "For America" poem, which the broadcaster read before the first game back in St. Louis after the attacks, and Sept. 11 survivor Angela Brock-Bokern will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. More than 5,500 first responders from the St. Louis area will attend the game with free tickets from the club.
Tyler Greene is not expected to get a start this weekend after all. Manager Tony La Russa said Friday that he intends to start Rafael Furcal at shortstop for all three games of the series against the Braves. La Russa had said earlier in the week that he planned to start Greene in one of the games over the weekend.
Right-hander Adam Wainwright is the Cardinals' nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, an award given out by the Major League Baseball Players Association to a player who excels both on and off the field.
Outfielder Oscar Taveras was awarded the Midwest League batting title despite falling short of the required number of plate appearances. Per standard baseball practice, Taveras' batting average was calculated if he'd collected no more hits but still reached the requisite number of plate appearances. In such a case, he still would have hit .351 to lead the league. Taveras actually hit .386 with a .444 on-base percentage and a .584 slugging percentage.
Taveras' team, the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits, has advanced to the Midwest League semifinals. The Bandits swept a best-of-three series against Clinton. The semifinals begin on Saturday, and Quad Cities will face either Burlington or Kane County.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.