Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chris Carpenter Is a Very Special Assistant for the Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chris Carpenter Is a Very Special Assistant for the Cardinals

Article excerpt

JUPITER, Fla. - The Cardinals' Mike Maddux is among the most respected pitching coaches in major league baseball, and former Cardinal Chris Carpenter was one of its most respected pitchers until he retired some six years ago. Both have been very visible during the Cardinals' first three days of spring training, and Carpenter's visibility will continue for several days of each month during the season as he visits the Cardinals' major-league team, wherever it may be.

Maddux said he would not feel any intrusion whenever Carpenter, a special assistant, showed up, and, in fact would welcome those appearances.

"I learn something from him every day," Maddux said Friday. "I can only imagine what other people are going to learn.

"Having Chris around is a blessing," said Maddux. "He provides another set of eyes and ears and his attention to detail ... he doesn't miss much.

"He looks at it through a little different lens because he more recently played, and everybody respects the heck out of him."

Asked if he thought Carpenter's trademark intensity would rub off on the Cardinals' pitchers, Maddux laughed and said, "I don't how it can't. He's a great addition to this staff when he's around."

Last year, Carpenter, a Cardinals Hall of Famer who was 95-44 when he played for them, worked mostly with the Cardinals' minor league pitchers, with an occasional visit to the big-league club. A resident of New Hampshire, he has two teenage children, one of them just starting to drive, and he has a joint custody arrangement with his first wife.

"I made a commitment to be there for them," said Carpenter.

Thus, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak created the chance for Carpenter to concentrate solely on the major-league team, a rare position in recent Cardinals history.

"I just wanted to find a role that fit him best and try to mitigate some of his travel," said Mozeliak.

"When he's focused on the Cardinals, he is with the Cardinals. And when he has to be a dad at home, he can do that."

"I was missing events at home that I shouldn't be missing," said the 43-year-old Carpenter.

"I had to make a decision, one way or the other. I'm just thankful that they offered me the same sort of role, but only at the big-league level. …

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