"I would never try to hit Morneau," Pierzynski said. "I respect how hard he plays ... how hard that team plays. I wouldn't do anything to get those guys mad. Every time they do, they get 10 runs against us."
A.J. tried to give his Bart Simpson spiel to Morneau when Justin came to the plate in the sixth. Morneau ignored him.
After a few seconds, plate umpire Larry Vanover -- playing the role of Ward Cleaver to Eddie Haskell -- told A.J. to get in the catcher's box and forget it.
"It clipped my foot a little bit," Morneau said later of Pierzynski's off-line step. "It doesn't happen too often. Usually, if it does, guys say something. He talked to me when I went up to the plate ... said he didn't know he did it. So, that's done. That's it."
Morneau repeated similar thoughts as the questions continued, then said: "We woke up a little bit after that."
Gardenhire received a face-to-face apology from his former catcher immediately after the game.
"I don't think A.J. does anything like that on purpose," Gardenhire said. "But there's that one second, when something takes place on the field, and it just happens with him.
"Like the time [in 2003] A.J. was running to first and he threw that pad he wears at the plate at [Royals first baseman Mike] Sweeney. He didn't think about throwing his pad. He just did it."
Or maybe, as with Bart Simpson in episode No. 93, he didn't do it.
Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org