With Carter, what you saw was genuine and real
I certainly can’t profess to know Gary Carter as others in the local gang of the craft did, I didn’t cover him a team he played for, maybe spoke to him in scrums a half dozen times if that but I was a big enough fan of the game and student of our industry to know a wee bit about him.
His playing bonafides are well documented, he could frame pitches like few other catchers, he played hard when playing hard was expected rather than hoped for, he ran out every ground ball and walk, he truly handled himself the right way on the field.
Off the field, we got a picture all those years of simply a good guy, genuine and real and if his personality came across as too genuine or too nice or too “something” for others to handle without a small tinge of jealousy or a measure of snickering, well, that says more about the people talking and writing about him than it does about Carter.
We kind of half expect our sports stars to be a bit fake, it’s the kind of give-and-take we put up with; you give me a good sound bite, I won’t mock you and I won’t care a lot how you treat people when the lights are off.
Trust me, there are people who try to carry themselves like Carter who are frauds, total and utter users of the podium and medium who are out to advance their own selves and don’t mind putting on a “show” for the media, and therefore the fans. There are guys who are simply disingenuous; when the cameras on, they are sweetness and light when the bright lights are on, they can be surly and put-upon when it’s just them and a guy holding a notebook.
You never, ever got the sense that Carter was like that. He was chatty and friendly, always respectful of the people doing their jobs because he knew they were the conduit to the fans.
He spoke of his family often, of his faith just as much and he simply came across as a well-meaning fellow.
Like I said, I didn’t know Gary Carter at all but everything I’ve read (and My Man Griff nailed it from Carter’s Montreal days, Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci killed with memories of his New York time) paints a picture of a good and honest man in a sports world not heavily populated by them.
Canadian sports fans of a certain vintage will always know Carter as the hustling, smiling, hard-playing Expos icon who would have to be considered one of the most popular baseball players to ever call Canada home.
His loss evokes sadness as so many levels; his memory will today bring smiles to the faces of a lot of baseball fans.
For those unfamiliar (and it’s only through the good graces of Google and Youtube that I am), it’s the, um, boy band that will sing O Canada before the all-star game, the league breathlessly informed me Thursday.
I guess they must be popular but the initial reaction of a couple of oldsters in the office Thursday was, ‘hm, a boy band that wants to sound like the Beiber lad; yeah, that says Canada like nothing else.’
Anyway, we’ve got Mary J. Blige doing the Star Spangled Banner (her, I’ve heard of) and halftime’s got Pitbull (yes, I’ve heard the song and it’s okay) with someone called Neyo and another songster called Nayer and, continuing her Tour Of Big Sports Events, that Nicki Minaj, who may or may not have overwhelmed at the Super Bowl.
Sure ain’t Madonna, is it?
Hang on one cotton picking moment, here.
This tennis playing Roanic guy pulls out of the Davis Cup thing on Sunday because he’s hurt and now I’m reading that he’s into the third round of one of the endless ATP tournaments?
Guess we know where that lad’s priorities are, right?
Not that there’s anything too, too, too wrong with it; but perhaps someone will ask him about it if he deigns to speak to us before strapping on the Maple Leaf at the London Olympics this summer.
Just sayin’ …
What am I going to do this afternoon post-shootaround and pre-game?
Well, I could knock off some mail so I can maybe get a few more minutes of shuteye tomorrow morning. But that depends, of course, on how you fine Irregulars help me out.
There was never a doubt in my mind that the NBA was going to find a way to get Jeremy Lin involved in the all-star weekend, it’s just too good a story that reaches people on too many different levels to be ignored.
I thought they might put him in the guy-gal-old person shooting thingamabob on the Saturday night since he probably isn’t skilled enough to go in the punt-pass-and-kick thing that night, the three-point shooting contest or, obviously, the dunk contest, which is totally underwhelming as Nothing But Net explains.
And while it would have been something of a travesty to name him as an injury replacement for the real game, I was fearful they’d do that in some shameless effort to turn it into more of a circus.
Thankfully, at least for them, they decided to add him to the kids game on the Friday night, a perfect solution.
Of all events at the all-star weekend, that abomination might be the most boring. The players aren’t nearly as electric as the guys in the big game, there is even less effort put forth in that one than there is in the first quarter of the real game (although the real game does tend to get competitive in the final six or seven minutes) and now that rookie-sophomore event at least has a little bit of juice.
And Linsanity can play out on an even bigger stage, which is precisely what the league wants.
Guy gets a Thursday night on the couch, decides to flip through something other than Bulls-Celtics and what happens?
The networks have scheduled Big Bang Theory directly against 30 Rock?
Gotta say, though, Tina Fey trumps all.