I’m going to take a different approach to this. Everyone clearly has their opinion of whether Chris Carpenter‘s “aside” with Brendan Ryan last night was appropriate or not, and forced to give *my* opinion, I’d probably side with a little bit of what everyone says.
Carp is a little extreme sometimes. About pretty much everything. Especially when you mess with his game day.
Ryan deserved it for not paying attention and not being ready to play.
No matter the side you choose, you’re probably making an uninformed judgement about one or the other (myself included). Ultimately, I’ve yet to see anyone reveal what was said and it was done “in-house” – so get over it and play ball.
You want to know why they’ll get over it? Because for all of his shortcomings and being perceived as generally aloof - Brendan Ryan is an elite defensive shortstop.
So far in 2010, Ryan is worth about seven runs defensively according to Total Zone. In just over half of the innings Ryan has played at shortstop, Felipe Lopez, Tyler Greene, and Aaron Miles are worth a combined minus-seven runs. You don’t have to have deep, intimate knowledge of Sabermetrics and the Total Zone ratings to know that is a huge gap.
In 2009, Ryan’s glove played at about eighteen runs, while Khalil Greene, Tyler Greene, and Julio Lugo combined for a minus-five. Eighteen runs translates loosely to 1.8 wins. Ryan’s glove alone contributed enough to the Cardinals 2009 campaign to theoretically “win” them an extra 1.8 games. That is elite.
Eighteen runs was good enough for second in the National League in 2009 and seven this season is good for second in the National League. Yes, he’s made errors, but the other plays he makes that the rest of the league doesn’t is the difference.
So say what you will about the little family spat in the Cardinals’ dugout tunnel last night. Carp said his piece. Brendan didn’t say a word. Seems fairly safe to bet that we won’t see this episode repeated.
Carpenter *wants* Ryan behind him. Carp *needs* Ryan behind him. He just wants him there in time for him to pitch.