Christopher Carpenter was signed as a free-agent prior to the 2003 season, hoping against hope that he’d be ready mid-season from shoulder surgery while with the Toronto Blue Jays. He missed the entire season.
Now, he’ll leave baseball after his 2013 season has been scrapped due to lingering shoulder and arm problems.
He became the baddest bad ass in St. Louis.
Ever make a resume? I’m pretty sure we all have at some point, right? And you’re sitting there in front of your computer and you’re typing out things and stuff and numbers. It looks kind of good, but the more times you look it over, the more you just want to wad the thing up and start over.
THIS IS NOT CAPUTRING HOW AWESOME I AM. GRRRR.
That’s how we’ll remember Chris Carpenter. Three time All-Star, one time Cy Young, 144-94, 3.76 ERA… those are his stats. His resume, if you will. But 50 years from now, there is going to be some punk that tries to tell you that Chris Carpenter wasn’t the man because all he/she saw was the resume. You’re going to want to shake that person. You’re going to want to wad THEM up and throw THEM in the trash.
Because Chris Carpenter is the guy that was standing on the mound in Philadelphia, the toughest sports city in the US, in Game 5 of the NLDS, as a heavy underdog. He’s the guy that looked the best offense in the NL straight in the eye, told them he was about to punch them in the face and then knocked the Philles out.
He’s the guy that made us do THIS.
He’s the guy that when you needed a big game, you needed some Chris Carpenter on the mound.
He’s the guy that channeled Bob Gibson so another generation could have their pitbull.
Chris Carpenter isn’t going to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals ever again. His career has ended, exiting as one of the most popular players in team history. The Cardinals are a weaker team then they were 24 hours ago, and there isn’t a single thing that Matheny, Mo or DeWitt can do about it.
Because you don’t replace Chris Carpenter. You thank him for the memories. And you do your best without him.
He leaves. We’re glad he entered.