In the city of St. Louis A question about his family’s excitement about returning to St. Louis, where he had so much success during his first 11 years in Major League Baseball, broke Matt Carpenter’s attempt to keep emotions from getting in the way of his preparations for the three days of games ahead.
Carpenter’s deep affections for St. Louis overcame his best attempts after sharing a humorous story about his 5-year-old son’s perplexity about whether his dad is still a Cardinal or a Yankee.
He was forced to lay a palm over his lips to prevent further raw emotions from pouring from him. Carpenter had to stop mid-thought twice during his pregame media availability in order to swallow the knot in his throat and collect himself so that the tears that had welled up in his eyes wouldn’t fall.
Being back in a town he’d never wanted to leave, the 36-year-old Carpenter didn’t have time to put on a tough-guy act or let anyone brush off the roiling emotions inside of him.
Because of his grinder mindset and his outward emotions, Carpenter, who was beloved by Cardinals fans, said that his attempts to manage those emotions will most certainly fail numerous times at Busch Stadium this weekend.
Just getting off the plane and back in St. Louis started it all for me,” Yankees outfielder Mark Carpenter said. “It was just stepping off the plane [Thursday] night and being back in St. Louis that began it all for me.” For me, it will be difficult because my family will be here, and I haven’t seen many of the Cardinals players yet. Memories that will last a lifetime!
Willie 🤗 pic.twitter.com/eJHTsbRYRL
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 5, 2022
This will be the first time since 2009 that I haven’t been rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals to win three games in a row. Whenever we’re not playing and our schedules coincide, I’m rooting for my teammates and checking the box score every game.
As soon as we leave the city, I’ll go back to being a Cardinals fan. Competing against them is a strange experience, but separating the feelings will be a difficulty.”
Carpenter’s final two seasons with the Cardinals were marked by a.186 batting average and a.169 slugging percentage. In contrast to his first nine seasons with the Cardinals, when he hit 148 of his 155 home runs, amassed an.835 OPS, and came through in the postseason time and time again, this lack of productivity was a glaring difference.
Amazingly, Carpenter recovered his swing after being signed by the Rangers and was momentarily out of the game before joining the Yankees as an unrestricted free agent. He has a.322 batting average, 15 home runs, 36 RBIs, nine doubles, and a stunning 1.226 OPS in New York, where he has thrived over the past two seasons.
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