Zack Greinke calls Chris Carpenter a “phony”

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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.

Who are the candidates for the Cardinals managerial job?

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If you logged off over the weekend, you may not have heard that Mike Matheny was sacked as the Cardinals manager late Saturday night. I wrote about the reasons for this yesterday morning. Mike Shildt was named the interim manager and he will keep the job through the rest of the season. Between now and then the Cardinals’ brain trust is going to figure out who they want for the job full time.

Today Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes over a list of potential candidates. No, the Cardinals have not identified any officially, but Goold is a smart cookie and hears stuff and what wasn’t heard is informed speculation. At the very least, expect to hear many of the names he lists several times as the process goes on.

You gotta read his article to get the list, but there are a couple on there I want to talk about for a second.

The first one is Joe Girardi, who makes it because (a) he is the most prominent marquee manager who doesn’t have a job at the moment; (b) he played 16 games with the Cardinals in his final season; and (c) far more important than that is that he is tight with John Mozeliak. But while Girardi seems like a perfect candidate for a club in win-now mode, I question whether he’s truly the right guy given that he left New York for many of the same reasons Matheny left St. Louis (i.e. not relating well with young players). We can’t overstate that, however, because Girardi is, by every other measure, a superior manager to Matheny, primarily when it comes to managing a bullpen, so his rapport with the kids is not the be-all, end-all.

Goold also mentions Mark McGwire. He’s obviously a legend in St. Louis and, unlike a lot of former players who talk about wanting to get into managing these days, McGwire has been putting in his time as a coach for a long, long time. He’s currently the Padres’ bench coach. I’d like to see McGwire get the job for petty, personal reasons: a lot of people would get really, really mad about a PED guy getting the gig, they’d say and write a lot of dumb stuff and that, for me, is the key to a lot of content. Not gonna lie about that.

A lot of other interesting names on that list too. And there will likely be a lot of people, beyond those who the Cardinals initially identify, who express interest in the job too. It’s a sweet gig with historic job security for a marquee franchise in a baseball city, so what’s not to like?