Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals held a press conference at Busch Stadium on Monday to discuss his injury and his chances of pitching for the Cardinals during the 2013 season and while he wouldn’t rule out pitching for the season, he also disclosed that he won’t undergo surgery for a 9th time in his career. Carpenter, who missed most of the 2012 season after being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, felt discomfort two weeks ago, after his third bullpen session and called GM John Mozeliak and informed him that the same pain from last season had returned. “It’s definitely not working the way it should work, and it’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to my teammates and it’s not fair to the organization to go down there and try to make myself think that I’m going to be OK and I’m going to get through it.” Carpenter said to the media.
Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny and Mozeliak met with the media last week and Mozeliak stated, “He’s probably one of the most competitive players that I have ever been around,”. Mozeliak also added, “He truly willed himself to want to win. And when you think about all the injuries he went through over his career, he always found a way to get back on the field and contribute in a positive way. I’ll always admire that about him.” Yes, Carpenter has always pushed himself to perform to the best of his ability and even came back stronger from Tommy John’s surgery that put him out for part of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, however this injury seems to be taking more of a toll on him. Carpenter turns 38 in April and the 8 career surgeries have got to be enough at some point and Carpenter himself stated as much, “If my arm is what it is like now, at some point in time you have to be like, ‘All right, enough’s enough,”.
While I don’t blame him for not retiring, doing so will cost him to forfeit the $12.5 million he’s due in salary this season from the Cardinals, he has got to let things go and not give false hope to his teammates, coaches, the front office and fans. Anyone in their right mind knows when to call it quits and I’ve got a pretty good feeling that Carpenter himself in his right mind and knows that Cardinals Nation is not all fools. We have all enjoyed watching Carpenter over the years and especially as a Cardinal, in his 9 seasons with the team, he is 95-44 with a 3.07 ERA including winning the 2005 National League Cy Young Award. Quite a career that any pitcher would be proud of by any standards.
I’m not going to hold out hope on what Carpenter stated today by saying there is a “little hope”, that he will return, we all know it’s pretty much all but done for him once the 2013 season is over. The most logical thing Carpenter can do is ride out the season on the DL and keep the salary he is owed and ride off into the sunset. The fans, teammates, coaches and everyone else will forever be appreciative for everything Carpenter has done and will forever admire him for being the workhorse he has always been. We thank you Chris Carpenter for all that you have done and thank you for allowing us to watch a great career with 2 World Series titles for the city of St. Louis. You will always be remembered forever in Cardinals Nation.