Chris Carpenter felt he needed to make a point this afternoon.
Shortly after the clubhouse opened, Chris Carpenter called a couple of reporters over to his locker to clarify his explanation of the events from Wednesday night. It had been reported (including on MLB.com) 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, in turn, was followed by Morgan saying more than a couple of words. Albert Pujols made his way over from first base in hopes, Pujols said, 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 coverage of the incident went on over the past couple of days, Carpenter 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. He did offer a profanity in Morgan’s direction.
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 things, repeatedly, over the course of Wednesday night and in prior starts as well. Each time, he ignored it, until he struck out the Milwaukee outfielder in what will be their final head-to-head plate appearance of 2011.
His point: while in that specific incident, Carpenter did speak first, that 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.