Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carpenter Can't Pitch but Still Pitches In

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carpenter Can't Pitch but Still Pitches In

Article excerpt

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. * Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, assistant general manager Michael Girsch and recently retired star Chris Carpenter rode together to Port St. Lucie on Wednesday from Jupiter, the Cardinals' spring training base.

The new guy had to drive. That would be Carpenter.

"They told me that it was because I had the biggest car," said Carpenter, smiling. "I'm not sure I believe that.

"Then I bought gas before we left. But I pushed 'no receipt.'

Carpenter doesn't want to be reimbursed for anything. He is just happy to have the chance to do whatever he can for the organization. Except pitch.

"I was questioning myself this winter as to how I was going to feel," he said. "But I never had an itch. When guys started throwing, I just kind of watched them throw, which was kind of strange."

When the minor league games begin at the Cardinals' complex today, Carpenter will be at the back fields watching. He will follow Mozeliak and Girsch, too.

"It's definitely different not being in uniform and stuff," said Carpenter, whose body finally gave out on him last year after a stellar Cardinals career.

"But I'm also at peace with what's going on."

On the other hand, he wants to earn whatever comes his way.

"I don't want to be that charity guy," he said. "If I have something to offer that they want, that they need, I'm here for that and I always will be."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who met with his former teammate the other day, knows that Carpenter won't be bashful.

"Carp just can't help himself," said Matheny, smiling. "I told him that every day he can be around our clubhouse, we've got a chance to get better, mainly because he can't control himself.

"He's going to say something. And I know what his drive is. It's not to be this imposing force. It's to do what's right. He's passionate about doing what's right for the game and that's something we all respect about him. …

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