Cardinals, Cubs moving on after heated game

ByJesse Rogers ESPN logo
Saturday, September 19, 2015

CHICAGO -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny mostly took the high road Saturday morning when asked for a response to Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon's verbal attack on his organization the night before.

"I get it that it's a hot topic of conversation, but for us, we realize the fact that almost every day we have someone saying something about us," Matheny said. "It's just part of the business. We have to stick to what we do."

Matheny wouldn't respond to the Cubs' accusations that the Cardinals intentionally threw at first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning of the Cubs' 8-3 victory on Friday -- after Cubs hurler Dan Haren beaned Matt Holliday earlier in the game.

The apparent retaliation prompted Maddon to go on a tirade afterward.

"I'm really disappointed in what the Cardinals did right there," Maddon said after Friday's game. "We did not hit their guy on purpose. That was an absolute mistake. To become this vigilante group that wants to get their own pound of a flesh, that's absolutely insane, ridiculous and wrong. We don't start stuff, but we will stop stuff."

Matheny didn't take the bait Saturday, despite Maddon's volatile language.

"We handle our club the way we handle our club," Matheny said. "How they handle theirs is their business."

Rizzo also had a chance to respond publicly for the first time on Saturday after being hit for the 28th and 29th times this season, by far the most in the league.

"Luckily, I'm used to getting hit. One more and I'm 30/30," Rizzo said. "Obviously, at the moment I want to kill someone because I know it's intentional. We didn't hit Holliday on purpose there. Thankfully he's all right. At the moment, you want to go out and strangle someone. That's not necessary right now."

The teams' final regular-season series concludes Sunday, though they could meet again in the postseason next month. Matheny didn't want to speculate why Maddon went off but acknowledged respect for the veteran manager.

"He's been doing this a long time," Matheny said. "He knows what he's doing. We focus on the things we can control, which is preparing to play a game."

On Saturday, Maddon said he wanted to move on, not wishing to rehash what he said the day before.

"As far as I'm concerned that's over with," Maddon said. "It's all about today."

Matheny added: "We have a lot going on right now as far as the excitement of September baseball. A lot of times spending too much time with this, I believe, is a distraction from what we need to do."