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Zack Greinke calls Chris Carpenter a “phony”

Oct 8, 2011, 7:14 PM EDT

greinke getty Getty Images

Pre-series trash-talking is as rare as it is awesome in this modern era of Major League Baseball.

The Cardinals and Brewers don’t like each other. It’s a feud that goes back several years, to when the “Brew Crew” began celebrating their regular season victories by un-tucking their jerseys. Loud-mouthed center fielder Nyjer Morgan has only helped fuel that fire with his arrival in Milwaukee this year, and now another newcomer is getting in on the act.

Here’s what NLCS Game 1 starter Zack Greinke told a group of reporters Saturday when asked about the relationship between the two National League Central rivals — and specifically NLCS Game 3 starter Chris Carpenter — during a press conference at Miller Park (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

“A lot of guys on our team don’t like Carpenter. … His attitude out there sometimes is like a phony attitude.”

Strong words about a 36-year-old ace, fresh off the finest pitching performance of his career. Let’s hope, for entertainment purposes, that both sides remain pissed off and talkative throughout the seven-game set.

  1. - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    That is awesome!

    There’s gotta be a brawl in this series, right?

    • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      First pitch to the head of someone!

  2. 18thstreet - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Jerry: Like you didn’t call me a phony?

    Mike: What? (to Kramer) Thanks! Real good! Jerry! First of all, I think
    you completely misunderstood what I said. I meant it in a complementary way. I
    mean, you know when people say, ‘He’s bad’, it really means he’s good, sort of
    thing? You know, slang.

    Jerry: Use it in a sentence.

    Mike: Man, that Chris Carpenter is so phony.

  3. cmb79 - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    This might sound off-color, especially since I have no horse in this race, but up the dosage, Zach.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      not off color – just kinda dumb.

  4. cur68 - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Greinke’s record as an MLB pitcher; 76 – 73. Been in the league since 2004. Chris Carpenter’s been in the league since 1997. His record is 144 – 92. Whatever Carpenter is doing on the mound is more effective than whatever it is Greinke’s up to. So, who’s legit and who’s got something to prove?

    • Lukehart80 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

      Really, you’re making the case that Greinke shouldn’t have said anything by citing their wins and losses?

      Weak sauce.

      • cur68 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        Mere point of reference as to legitimacy or authenticity of speakers actions associated with results. Just a shame it doesn’t pass your “saucy-ness” test. I’m really broken up about it.
        Now, do YOU have a point or is your presence here just to criticize the comments of others? If mere judgmentalismh based on your arbitrary measure of “saucy-ness’ then weak sauce on you, sir.

      • Lukehart80 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

        Part of my point is that wins and losses are a poor way of comparing pitchers, which is well worn territory. Carpenter certainly has had the better total career, though Greinke has accomplished far more in his 20s than Carpenter did and there’s a fair chance he has the better career when they’re both finished.

        The other part of my point is that Greinke is certainly accomplished enough to have earned the right to speak his mind if he feels like it. I’m sorry if my snark got in the way of making those points more clearly.

        If you prefer that I make my points without having to involve your comments:

        Greinke has been a very good pitcher and while I’m surprised that he of all people has said something “controversial” to the media, I see nothing wrong with it. He knows it doesn’t matter how nice or how sincere any of these guys are, that it comes down to which team plays well enough to advance. But if he wants to stir the pot anyway, so be it.

      • cur68 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM

        Sure, fair enough. MY point is; better at least have some standing as the ace, with the track record of an ace, before you start calling the ace of another team a “phony” or alluding to such. Y’know, throw the guy a bone in there as being nearly as good as he acts or something? Make sure then what you comment on burying Caesar you make a point of referring to him AS Caesar, dig?

        Greinke is good, no doubt about it. Maybe he will have a better career than Carpenter, but that hasn’t happened yet. Till he’s been around as long as Carpenter, been as successful, my opinion of the matter is that he should maybe acknowledge that Carpenter has nothing to prove to anyone regarding legit or phony when it comes to pitching and the results he gets. And I don’t want to hear anything about how Carpenter acts from the likes of Greinke, either. Mr. Greinke is well known for his own suspect behavior. He should talk.

      • Lukehart80 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM

        Yeah, it would make sense to acknowledge that Carpenter has been a great pitcher and that like him or not, he’s a tough guy to face.

        The real point in all of this is we need to get to the actual games!

      • Bryz - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        So how many more Cy Youngs does Greinke need before he catches up to Carpenter, and thus earns the right to trash talk?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        Grienke should have said he came to bury Caesar not Praise him.

    • cktai - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:16 AM

      Neglecting that Greinke called out Carpenter on his attitude which has little to do with his accomplishments, your argument that Carpenter is more effective than Grienke is just plain wrong.

      Grienke has been in the league since 2004, he was 20 at the time. Carpenter was 22 in 1997. Greinke is 27 now with a 76-73 W/L record with 1 Cy Young award and a 3.82 career ERA. Carpenter at 27 was 49-50 with a career ERA of 4.83.

      If you only look at Greinke’s 22-27 years he is 63-45 with an ERA of 3.41. However you want to put it, Greinke has accomplished much much more than Carpenter at the same age.

    • bigmeechy74 - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:29 AM

      wins mean nothing for the most part. do you think its easier to get a W for the royals or the cardinals? its an outdated and silly way to measure a pitcher’s success. get with the program and start visiting fangraphs more often

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      cur – how about this?
      Greinke – “Carpenter is a real gamer – I have a lot of respect for him and the Cardinals – We’ll just have to hope he makes a mistake or two.”

      Whoops, I almost fell asleep while I was posting it.

  5. dailyrev - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    So naturally the sportswriter delivered a followup question such as “what do you mean by that?” or “what does Carpenter do ‘out there’ that is so false or ‘phony’?”

    No? Nothing at all? Oh, I see, it’s twitter, he can’t get another quote into his 140. But we’re supposed to get totally excited because some dweeb in St. Loo produces more yellow journalism, as if the mountain of it that already suffocates this culture isn’t enough.

    • okwhitefalcon - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:47 PM

      More from St Louis Post Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz:

      “Milwaukee pitcher Zack Greinke gets on Carpenter….

      Here’s the verbatim exchange:

      Q: After being around it for 18 games do these two teams legitimately dislike each other?

      Greinke: “Maybe now. I think no one really likes Carpenter. But besides that I think they respect mostly everyone on their team.”

      Q: So what do the guys have against Carpenter?

      Greinke: “I don’t know. They think his presence, his attitude out there is sometimes a phony attitude. But — and then he yells at people. He just stares people down and stuff. And most pitches just don’t do that. And when guys do, I guess some hitters get mad. But when you do that some people will get mad. There’s other pitchers in the league that do it, but a lot of guys on our team don’t like Carpenter.”

      • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        The stupidity of this comment by Greinke is that he is on the favored team. You don’t make any comments which lites a fire under the underdog. NOTHING! What you say is that those guys have a great team and it will be difficult to beat them. With guys like Carpenter etc., it will be hard to score runs etc. etc.. That’s all you should say, otherwise the underdogs can beat you, when you lite them up! Besides being a so so pitcher, he has to be stupid!

      • garlicfriesandbaseball - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:34 AM

        Probably like him a lot less now huh?

    • richeich - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM

      I doubt the sportswriter was from Saint Louis when the interview was done by a TBS sportswriter.
      Whats a matter? You jealous because St.Louis has better sports, or better players. Thats right the Brewers haven’t been to a world series since 1982. Can you make your point more clearer.
      If you’re goona talk about Carpenter than lets talk about Nyger Morgan, and his foul mouth on national tv, and the Brewers tolerate it. Now there’s real fine representation of a PROFESSIONAL Sports team. Looser

      • Lukehart80 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

        A professional athlete was overheard speaking a profane word on live television and his team chose not to cut him?!

        Someone get Congress on this.

      • glennsyank13 - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Better sports? The Rams or the Packers? How dumb are you?

        Morgan’s foul mouth? Get lost kid and let the adults watch the game and listen to the adult words.

    • brewersss - Oct 9, 2011 at 6:53 AM

      There was a followup question, about 5 minutes later. See it all here:

      And it wasn’t on Twitter, it was during an interview.

      He was repeating what others have said, what people in his dugout said–not what he thinks.

  6. patsandsox - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Yawn. This is supposedly a rivalry?

    • jj - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:12 PM

      LOL east coast

    • paperlions - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      Put down your torch and pitch fork long enough to comment?

    • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Did the Sox make the playoff’s, or did they choke?

    • skeleteeth - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      What? I’m a Sox fan and watched almost every game between the Reds and Cards or Brewers and Cards this year BECAUSE of this ‘supposed rivalry’. Yanks/Red Sox peaked in 2003 once Pedro threw Zimmer to the ground.

  7. gallaghedj311 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Thank u to whomever posted the entire question. did I read that greinkes record was 76-73? And he played for the royals? I’d call it an accomplishment. And no one in Wisconsin is jealous of st Louis sports. Brewers won their division right? Packers just won the super bowl?

  8. stlducks - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Yes, the guy who just pitched a 3 hit shut out against the NLs best team is a phony…The Brewers are easily the dumbest team in baseball…Lets injoy this series shall we

    • rhett16 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      “The Brewers are easily the dumbest team in baseball…Lets injoy this series shall we”

      The irony of you calling anyone else dumb is certainly “injoyable”.

      • fearlessleader - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM

        Psst—rhett—“stlducks” was making a reference to Nyjer Morgan’s tweet instructing the Cardinals to “injoy” watching the Brewers in the postseason, back when Nyjer and the rest of the world had written off the Redbirds. In this instance, the dumb is solidly stationed in center field at Miller Park.

  9. royalsfaninfargo - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Greinke is a bitch, but I hate St. Louis worse!

    • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      But you really have nice grass in KC. Now, get a team to play on it.

  10. yankeesgameday - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Yes! The NL Central has a real rivalry. This has all the makings of a sissy boy slap fight.

    • Lukehart80 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      If that’s a reference to the sissy nature of the Yankees/Sox rivalry, thumbs up.

    • marinersnate - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      What’s the matter Gameday, panties still in bunch?

      BTW, if you are waiting for the next Yankees “gameday” I think that it is sometime in April….

  11. beerman1 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Stlduck and tirdeich or whatever your name is, Greinke and the Crew will roll out of Stl after game five to get set for their Detroit matchup. Stl fans will still be bitchin about ribbon lights or the sun in thier eyes.

  12. beerman1 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Yankees game day who ever she is will just have to sit in her moms basement and enjoy some good midwest baseball.

  13. heyzeus143 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    go bucs, :-) why not

  14. schmedley69 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Have to agree with Greinke. Carpenter is not a likeable guy. I’ll definitely be pulling for the Brew Crew in this one.

    • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      We have no love for Carpenter in Cinti, but lets face it. We can’t beat him either. So, one has to grow up and realize there is a difference between liking someone and respecting his talent. Ted Williams was a jackass, but what a hitter. Carpenter has been great for the redbirds. I really don’t car who wins this series.

  15. citifieldurinal - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    I had no idea Greinke went to Pencey Prep.

    Greinke has always been aloof and very, very honest. You can accuse him of a lot of things, but being dishonest is not one of them.

  16. yournuts - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Thems fighting words!

  17. stlducks - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Thank you fearlessleader for explaining that for me..Now even brewer fans have to agree morgan is dumb

  18. bigleagues - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    MORE MORE!!!!

  19. paperlions - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Isn’t the more important thing how many Cardinals like Carpenter? Who cares if you opponents like you? Your job is to make them not like you.

    I wonder how many guys that played with Greinke on the Royals liked him….considering that he often didn’t feel like playing baseball and then asked to be traded….probably, not many.

  20. stlducks - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    The Cardinals have been the team taking the high road while the Brewers are the immature ones talking all this shit.

  21. xmatt0926x - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Is it me or are both of these pitchers jagoffs?? I honestly don’t know because I don’t follow either on a daily basis during the season. I do keep hearing subtle comments here and there through the years that indicate Carpenter is kind of an asshole. For Greinke he kind of surprised me earlier in the year. He made a few comments that struck me as harsh coming from a guy that supposedly was some feeble guy with a the issues he had in KC. I guess I assumed he would be more timid with his social anxiety issues. I remember he had a couple smart-ass answers during one of his first media sessions this year and then he commented that he was good because none of his teammates had annoyed him yet. He didn’t seem to be joking when he said it. It just struck me as odd. This is the NL though so maybe they both just bean eachother and get it on. I think I’m going to root for the Brew Crew but Carpenter would gain a fan in me if he sat Nyjer Morgan on his ass.

  22. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Isn’t Greinke the guy who stopped throwing breaking balls during the second half of last season, because he didn’t want to tarnish his trade value? Maybe I’m alone on this, but I lost a lot of respect for the guy after that, and I would imagine he lost credibility with anyone who knows about it. Perhaps in another losing season in KC it didn’t get much press, but I don’t imagine players want to know a teammate was halfassing it because he didn’t want to hurt his chances of getting traded out of town.

    • Bryz - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      Isn’t Greinke the guy who stopped throwing breaking balls during the second half of last season, because he didn’t want to tarnish his trade value?

      You may see that as Greinke being selfish so he could be traded out of town. I don’t fully disagree, but I also see it as Greinke boosting what KC got in return. If teams thought he was an injury risk, they would have lowered their offers for the Royals. So while Greinke may have ensured that he got out of KC, I feel that he helped the Royals at the same time.

  23. legeisyaj - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Nothing worse than classless stupidity mixed with boring teams. Nyjer is a lame punk. Lots of class the other night yelling “F yeah” clearly on purpose over and over for the camera. Idiot.

  24. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 9, 2011 at 4:46 AM

    Sometimes, when you’re young and rebellious, you just have to channel your inner Holden Caulfield

  25. jkollath2282 - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    The teams don’t like each other, of course people are going to take shots at each other. What is said doesn’t matter, all that matters is who gets the W. GO CREW!

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