Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  By STAN McNEAL  |  Last updated 8/29/13
ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter doesn't know if he will try another comeback next season. "I really don't know what's going to happen," he said Wednesday. But Carpenter has figured out what he will do the rest of this season. He's going to take infield grounders before batting practice, he's going to cheer on the Cardinals from the dugout and he's going to make the rest of the road trips. In other words, he's going to enjoy his job. As well he should. Carpenter spent nearly six months, from February to late July, trying to come back yet again, this time from the same kind of nerve issues that cost him most of 2012. He actually made it as far as two rehab starts before deciding it just wasn't going to happen. He could threw OK but nowhere close to the form that made him a Cy Young winner and one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history. By the time he walked off the mound in Memphis July 20, his comeback attempt was over. While certainly disappointed to fall short in his attempt to get back on a big-league mound, Carpenter also felt some kind of comfort in the realization he had done as much as possible. Now he had to accept that he was finished. "There's frustration and disappointment and it takes time to get over it," he said. But there's also the rest of the season and the Cardinals, with or without him, have been enjoying quite a successful one. Rather than stay home and sulk, Carpenter decided to try and have some fun. "If this is the last time I'm going to be part of a team, I wanted to put this uniform on, go out there and enjoy the major league baseball atmosphere and experience," he said. "I wasn't going to let two-and-a-half or three months slip by, depending on how far we go. If we're fortunate enough to go to the playoffs, I did not want to not enjoy my last little bit of time doing what I've been doing my whole life." So when Mike Matheny asked Carpenter to join the team on their last road trip, the 38-year-old said yes. "He hesitated a little but I think he came with us and realized two things," Matheny said. "One, he probably did miss that kind of camaraderie and the other thing is that he realized he could bring value. Anytime you can bring value to a team at this level, there is a great sense of reward for that." If he had not exhausted his comeback efforts, though, Carpenter might have done what he did in spring training and stayed away from his team. Many injured players feel out of place as a bystander and Carpenter has endured more than his share of such times. "Answering the question for myself about not coming back is what allowed me to get over that frustration and disappointment," Carpenter said. His teammates certainly are glad to have him coming around, and none more than Lance Lynn. When Lynn struggles to control his emotions on the mound, Carpenter can relate. He was known to scream in his glove or glare down an opponent a time or two. For Lynn, the similarly minded spirit in the dugout has given him someone to consult. "The two years I've been in the rotation, I think he's had only five starts," Lynn said. "But we have become really close. We have a relationship where something is going on during a start, he'll come up and say something to get me back to where I need to be. Someone who doesn't have that mindset might not want to say anything because you don't want to mess with a guy. But he knows what I need to hear." For Carpenter, the big-brother role never will beat competing on the mound, but it's the best he can do for now. "I'm giving my best effort to be cheerleader and role model," Carpenter said. "Hopefully I can help some of these guys. It's been fun." Let's hope so. After all he's done and tried to do, he deserves that much much. You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Scottie Pippen: Phil Jackson the main problem with Knicks

Jerry Jones hints Cowboys looking to trade out of first round

Muhammad Ali will be subject of new Ken Burns PBS documentary

UConn’s Geno Auriemma blasts ESPN over tournament schedule

James Jones reportedly challenged Cavs in locker room after blowout loss to Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Goldberg clarifies comments about being 'miserable' in WWE return

Elway disagrees with notion Kaepernick is being blackballed

Jeanie Buss: Luke Walton can be Lakers coach for 10-15 years

DeMarcus Cousins goes Marshawn Lynch to answer Kings questions

Sherman on trade talk: ‘Organizational philosophies change’

NFLPA keeping close tabs on Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville

The 'It appears as if the Padres aren't even pretending to try in 2017' quiz

MLB promotions we're dying to see teams incorporate

NFL Roundup: Jay Cutler wasted a perfectly good sendoff photo

Box Score 3/30: The calm before the final days of March Madness

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It appears as if the Padres aren't even pretending to try in 2017' quiz

MLB promotions we're dying to see teams incorporate

NFL Roundup: Jay Cutler wasted a perfectly good sendoff photo

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker