This is fun. From Joe Strauss’ latest, talking about New England native Chris Carpenter’s return to Fenway park:
There’s enough tug here for the sidelined former Cy Young Award winner to ask Matheny if he could participate in batting practice. (Carpenter only bunted during pregame work with the Jays.) Permission granted, Carpenter drove five balls over the Monster, each to his teammates’ loud approval. “It felt great,” Carpenter said as batting practice ended.
Fun, yes. But it’s also worth remembering the next time you hear a story about a player impressing everyone in batting practice before a game. If a DL’d pitcher can put on a BP show, a lot of guys can. They’re big leaguers, after all.
The other night golfer Hunter Mahan, obviously a baseball fan, tweeted something about the unwritten rules hubbub involving Yasiel Puig:
That’s the top retort for most folks who don’t take issue with on-field demonstrativeness and makes a lot of sense.
Fox’s producers decided to run with that, however, and had Tim McCarver reference the tweet and jokingly argue that if a golfer had no problem with a violation of unwritten rules in baseball, then he’d clearly have no problem with violations in golf too. So he suggested some violations, such as letting pro golfers wear shorts, talking while one’s opponent is hitting, walking over putting lines and to driving into foursomes in front of you. Here’s a screen grab:
Two problems with this, of course. First: these wouldn’t be violations of any unwritten rules. They’d be violations of actual rules. Pro golfers are not permitted to wear shorts by explicit PGA rules. USGA rule 16 prohibits players from touching putting lines. The USGA also explicitly spells out the contours of golf etiquette with respect to talking while other players are hitting and allowing space between you and the group in front of you.
The second, and much bigger, problem with this: looking at golf as any sort of model of behavior and decorum for baseball in the first place. Golf has a stick so far up its hind end that even Brian McCann, Chris Carpenter and Tony La Russa would tell golfers to chill the heck out, dude, and try to have a little fun out there. The last thing I’d ever want is anything akin to a golf sensibility spilling into baseball.
In any event: until the MLB rules talk about what one can and one cannot do when they do something good in a baseball game, all of this talk remains ridiculous.
From Nick Cafardo’s always-information-packed Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe:
Chris Carpenter’s agent, Bob LaMonte, said the righthander will retire and “may have an opportunity to work for the Cardinals organization. Chris basically came back from five career-ending surgeries. I don’t think you’ll ever see anyone do that again. He had a sixth and it was too many. He had a great career, a great human being.”
Carpenter, 38, will finish his 15-year major league career with a 3.76 ERA (116 ERA+) in 2,219 1/3 innings. A fiery competitor, he won the National League Cy Young Award in 2005 and earned World Series rings in both 2006 and 2011. He can also pick up another one this year if the Cardinals advance past the Dodgers in the NLCS and beat the winner of the ALCS.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said this weekend that the door is open for Carpenter to take on a role in the St. Louis front office. Carpenter has not spoken publicly about his retirement plans.
The native of Manchester, New Hampshire made a total of $98,592,956 in his big league career.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter didn’t pitch in 2013 as he was dealing with nerve issues in his right shoulder. Throughout the process of getting himself back into pitching shape, Carpenter talked like a player who planned to pitch in the Majors again, and he even attempted to get back before the end of the regular season. It wasn’t to be.
Per Derrick Goold, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is thinking about what Carpenter can do for the team if he can’t pitch.
“If he wants to do something with the St. Louis Cardinals, we would certainly welcome that,” general manager John Mozeliak said of Carpenter’s life after pitching. “When the time comes to discuss that my door will be open. I look forward to that conversation. He is someone who is so competitive and so passionate about this game that I don’t know if working in the front office is going to appease that. But we’ll see. Great guy. Wonderful teammate. So, we’ll see.”
If Carpenter is done pitching, he’ll retire with a 144-94 record, a 3.76 ERA and two World Series rings with the Cardinals (2006 and ’11).