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He's a winner!

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  • Moon Man
    replied
    Um..., Larpenter? Farpenter? Parpenter?

    Moon

    Leave a comment:


  • jhanke
    replied
    Originally posted by TripMcNeely@Aug 16 2005, 10:39 AM
    "I don't care what anybody else makes or what people think I should have signed for," Carpenter said. "This is where I want to play ... with these guys. This organization stayed with me when they didn't have to. Sure, I could have waited and maybe gone someplace different for more money. But what does that get you? How many guys have done that, then become miserable? I know Walt and Tony, the owners and the guys in that clubhouse. It's about winning and playing the game together. To me, that's worth a lot."
    I love you.

    Sounds like he had a great childhood. More power to him.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Leave a comment:


  • FAR52
    replied
    That's a really good article.

    Leave a comment:


  • backstop
    replied
    Kelvim.

    Leave a comment:


  • TripMcNeely
    replied
    "I don't care what anybody else makes or what people think I should have signed for," Carpenter said. "This is where I want to play ... with these guys. This organization stayed with me when they didn't have to. Sure, I could have waited and maybe gone someplace different for more money. But what does that get you? How many guys have done that, then become miserable? I know Walt and Tony, the owners and the guys in that clubhouse. It's about winning and playing the game together. To me, that's worth a lot."
    I love you.

    Sounds like he had a great childhood. More power to him.

    Leave a comment:


  • steveInebriated
    started a topic He's a winner!

    He's a winner!

    By Joe Strauss
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/15/200

    In places like Nashua, Bedford, Concord, Exeter and Manchester, only the memories last longer than the New Hampshire winters.

    It is no wonder that Chris Carpenter will never forget.

    Carpenter hasn't forgotten walking away from a potential professional hockey career to become the Toronto Blue Jays' first-round draft pick in 1993. He hasn't forgotten pitching nine years for an organization that initially lumped him with Roy Halladay and Kelvin Escobar as its future, only to subtract him from its major-league roster after he started 13 games with a shredded shoulder in 2002.

    Most of all, Carpenter hasn't forgotten how he landed in St. Louis - agreeing to a major-league contract with the Cardinals less than three months after surgery to tack down the labrum lining his right shoulder.

    Carpenter still remembers rehabilitating the shoulder, then throwing brilliantly for manager Tony La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan, general manager Walt Jocketty and a number of teammates at Pro Player Stadium during a rained-out batting practice April 25, 2003. He can recall leaving that evening thinking he would soon be activated, only to answer neighbor Matt Morris' phone call the next morning by saying, "I'm not going anywhere." The shoulder throbbed so badly.

    "I've gone through a lot to get here and not all of it was easy," Carpenter said, with dry New England understatement. "But it couldn't have worked out better. Things happen for a reason and this is the reason."

    Two years after undergoing a second shoulder operation, he is making a push to become only the second man in franchise history to win the Cy Young Award. For Carpenter and the team that signed him less than three years ago, it is The Season. The major leagues' only 17-game winner, Carpenter has transformed himself from a .500 pitcher (49-50) with the Blue Jays to a dominator (32-9) in less than two full seasons for the Cardinals.

    Poised for perhaps the best season by a Cardinals starting pitcher since Bob Gibson's 1968 literally changed the game's dimensions, Carpenter is 9-0 with a 1.07 ERA in his 11 starts dating to a one-hitter June 14 against his former club in Toronto.

    High praise

    "I've never seen a pitcher have this kind of season," said Morris, who crafted 22 wins in 2001. "I remember the year I won those games there were some not-so-great outings when the team picked me up with a bunch of runs. 'Carp' hasn't had those days. It's been one after another."

    Duncan recently rated Carpenter's season above the 27-win campaign enjoyed by Bob Welch when both were with the Oakland A's in 1990. Morris' 22 wins from four years ago are the most on the club since Gibson won 23 in 1970. Carpenter has nine more starts.

    "I don't think any part of this surprises me. We had a plan to bring our young pitchers together. And had they all performed then like they were capable of you would be talking about them like Hudson, Zito and Mulder," insists Milwaukee Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who served the same role with the Blue Jays when Carpenter was drafted. "What's most noticeable about Chris now is his level of mental maturity. I don't think he's letting outside influences bother him.

    Carpenter describes it a little differently.

    "Before I got hurt, the game would become fast, especially when something happened," he said. "I don't know why, but since I've come back, it's slowed down. I believe I'm more focused out there. I always believed I had enough stuff to win here. It took me a while to learn how to use it."

    Able to throw any of four pitches from the same arm slot, Carpenter rides his sinking fastball in on righthanded hitters and has pinpoint control of a cut fastball away. A curveball has become more consistent. The result is hitters' inability to center pitches if they hit them at all.

    Duncan refers to Carpenter as "dominant," a term he uses only sparingly. He saw a similar roll from Carpenter before a bizarre nerve disorder froze his right biceps last September and prevented him from participating in the postseason.

    "Chris is incredibly single-minded and has the ability to shut out things that would distract a lot of other pitchers," Duncan said. "This is no accident. We saw some of it last year."

    Others see Carpenter's arrival in St. Louis as more than coincidental to his success. Every year with the Blue Jays he surrendered more hits than innings pitched. This season he has allowed 137 hits in 180 1/3 innings.

    "Before, Chris tended to let his emotions get away from him," Ash said. "He wasn't the kind of guy like Dave Steib who would glare at his fielders or show a lot outwardly, but like a lot of young pitchers he would try to throw the ball harder and make things happen."

    Hockey star

    Carpenter always stood out. The son of Bob and Penny Carpenter, he was 6 feet tall at 12. By the time he graduated from Trinity High in Manchester, Carpenter towered at 6-feet-6 - "6-feet-9 on skates," reminded his father. A three-time all-state defenseman for Trinity High in nearby Manchester, Carpenter carved a reputation as a physical player with a shot so powerful it once broke the ankle of a teammate unlucky enough to be in its path.

    Carpenter was talented enough that when he was 16 the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins approached him about joining a junior league team in Canada. He declined and at that point made baseball his first desire.

    Big enough that he was not allowed to play Pop Warner football, Carpenter was a precocious as well as physically imposing pitcher. At 8, he threw against 12-year-olds. At 15, he starred in American Legion ball against rosters that included college freshmen.

    It was after his sophomore season in high school that Carpenter's notoriety exploded. Playing in an invitational tournament against junior and senior college players in Brockton, Mass., Carpenter came away with MVP honors. Driving home after the final game, Bob Carpenter turned to his son and asked what he thought about the 150 college and major-league scouts, many of them holding radar guns, behind home plate.

    "What people? I didn't notice anybody," the son replied.

    Consistent approach

    Carpenter's answers following a start vary little from those before. His creed is to keep the ball down and not shy from contact, though he ranks second in the league in strikeouts. At ease with teammates, Carpenter is reserved around those from beyond his inner circle.

    "He can go to a function, talk with people and do it but he likes to keep to himself. It's the way he's always been," said his father. "He sits down and does his thing."

    Carpenter was surprised the Blue Jays tried to relegate him to their minor-league roster after the 2002 season. He declined assignment and became a disabled free agent. "I had no problem playing my entire career there," said Carpenter. "I liked it there. But they made a business decision that went the other way."

    Jocketty signed him for $300,000 plus incentives, then signed Carpenter again after he failed to pitch in 2003. Last September's nerve disorder did not affect the organization's desire to retain him.

    The failure of the Blue Jays' projected big three was among the reasons the club dismissed Ash as general manager in 2002. Hired soon thereafter by new Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, Ash lobbied for signing Carpenter when the Blue Jays allowed him to pursue free agency by removing him from their major-league roster.

    "I knew the pitcher he could be. But at that point, Milwaukee wasn't in the position St. Louis was in to invest in a player and not have him perform immediately," Ash said.

    Jocketty pushed for Carpenter's signing even though he was unsure the pitcher would offer instant gratification.

    Carpenter's initial surgery involved tacking his labrum in place on the top and both sides of the shoulder. As the Cardinals labored through a pitching-poor 2003 season, Carpenter pushed to return as potential help for a chaotic bullpen. Even after the abortive session in Florida, Carpenter continued his minor-league assignment but eventually submitted to a second operation for removal of scar tissue that had grown around the tack behind the shoulder.

    "It's not fake"

    Bob Carpenter works for the local electric company. Chris' mother, Penny, is controller for a local car dealership. There is no desire for an ostentatious lifestyle, only a commitment to one's roots.

    "Chris appreciates what he's got, what he's achieved and what people have done for him. Toronto tried to kick his butt out. He would've stayed there and been fine but that didn't happen," said the elder Carpenter. "The Cardinals came up with a very good deal at the time. He couldn't pitch but they stayed with him. Chris sincerely appreciated it. It's not fake. So when it comes time to make a decision (on an extension), here you go. That's the way we are."

    Carpenter is agent Bob Lamonte's only baseball client, a status Carpenter relishes. Lamonte previously represented Pat Hentgen, an ex-Cardinal who became a mentor of sorts to Carpenter when both pitched for the Blue Jays.

    The Cardinals opened negotiations with Lamonte regarding an extension during spring training. A formal announcement regarding a two-year, $13 million deal waited until April after Carpenter passed a battery of physicals required to insure a contract many in baseball consider undervalued.

    Carpenter is scheduled to receive $5 million next season and $7 million in 2007 with a vesting $8 million option for 2008. Incentives allow him to earn an additional $1.5 million each of the two guaranteed seasons should he pitch 220 innings. The extension is worth $23 million should the deal vest and Carpenter reach all his incentives.

    Carpenter acknowledged then and now that he left money on the table. And it doesn't matter.

    "I don't care what anybody else makes or what people think I should have signed for," Carpenter said. "This is where I want to play ... with these guys. This organization stayed with me when they didn't have to. Sure, I could have waited and maybe gone someplace different for more money. But what does that get you? How many guys have done that, then become miserable? I know Walt and Tony, the owners and the guys in that clubhouse. It's about winning and playing the game together. To me, that's worth a lot."
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