St. Louis Cardinals coach Willie McGee and Chris Carpenter

(KMOX, Sam Masterson)

Cardinals Manager Is 'Blown Away' By Teaching Ability Of McGee, Carpenter

February 21, 2018 - 4:10 pm
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JUPITER, Fla. (KMOX) -  Mike Matheny spotted the perfect teaching moment from about 100 yards away, with a mob of reporters and cameras surrounding him. He pointed out Cardinals coach Willie McGee, at that moment, instructing right fielder Dexter Fowler and "giving him and earful, but doing it in the right way." It happened just as Matheny was explaining how much he gets "fired up" by the presence of former Cardinals like McGee and Chris Carpenter, specifically. 

McGee was hired this offseason to be a full-time coach with St. Louis, after years of working on more of a part-time basis with the minor-league clubs. Chris Carpenter was around the practice fields of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium for the second full day, Wednesday. 

McGee has already been working with the outfielders, some who reported early, since last Friday, as well as coaching some baserunning and bunting drills during full-squad workouts. Carpenter has spent the last two day bouncing around the fields and bullpens – pretty much wherever he's needed. 

"We're fortunate that we are going to reap the benefits around here," Matheny says. "(Carpenter) was talking to infielders yesterday, talking to catchers this morning and it's just another great perspective. You say, so as an infielder, what are you looking for from a pitcher and his message was spot on and then he didn't even know it, but it dovetailed directly into what Ozzie (Smith) just got through saying."

Matheny says the players will be smart to keep those moments engraved into the back of their minds. After giving a live play-by-play of the teaching moment between Fowler and McGee, he explained, that of course many teams will have a Hall of Famer or two show up in camp to work with players, but the St. Louis group is "unique."

"I talked about being fired up earlier," Matheny says. "But when I hear these guys and I hear the things that they are saying to them I'm just like, man I want to tell them, 'Go over in your mind when you're laying in bed tonight, what was just told to you, because what you just got has so much value ... just don't let that pass, go chew on that and just wrestle with it because that was really deep, really good and it's exactly what you needed to hear."