NEW YORK - Chris Carpenter was ready to call it quits.
Toiling in Double A two years ago, trying to work his way back from shoulder surgery, he pitched a game in Tennessee just before the All-Star break and couldn't play catch afterward because his right arm hurt so much.
Carpenter knew something was wrong again, even though the doctors didn't think so. He hadn't seen his infant son in about a month, and all he wanted to do was go home to New Hampshire with his wife, Alyson.
"I'll never forget the night we sat here until about 3 o'clock in the morning crying and talking about my career," Carpenter said. "I was ready to be done. And she didn't think I was, that I would regret it if I didn't take that one more step and try to come back again. And the next thing you know, I got my second surgery and here we are today. And I know that if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here."
His hard work and patience was rewarded Thursday when he won the NL Cy Young Award.
After going 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA for St. Louis, he received 19 of 32 first-place votes and finished with 132 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He beat out Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis, becoming the first Cardinals pitcher to claim the honor since Hall of Famer Bob Gibson in 1970.
No charge for Palmeiro
WASHINGTON - Rafael Palmeiro's future in baseball might be murky, but lawmakers said there isn't enough evidence to prove he lied under oath when he told Congress he never used steroids - less than two months before failing a drug test.
The House Government Reform Committee's 44-page report traces the former Orioles first baseman's whirlwind journey from Hall of Fame shoo-in and persuasive Capitol Hill witness to suspended pariah and subject of a perjury investigation.
Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., released the report in the same hearing room where Palmeiro sat on March 17 alongside Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and vehemently denied using steroids. In May, Palmeiro tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol, leading to a 10-day ban from Major League Baseball.
CLEMENS FILES: Roger Clemens, 43, was among the final seven players to file for free agency. The seven-time Cy Young winner, who has spent the past two seasons with the Astros, hasn't said whether he plans to pitch in 2006. Also filing: Red Sox first baseman John Olerud, Angels DH Tim Salmon, Astros pitcher Russ Springer and Dodgers pitcher Wilson Alvarez.