Saturday, May 31, 2008


You may or may not have heard that Gary Carter was in the news a lot this week. He sort of started a controversy by offering himself up for Willie Randolph's job - in a very public way - before it was available. His mouth got him in trouble, and that's given people who like to pick on Carter a chance to take shots at their favorite target.

And it's probably set him back in his search for a managing job in Major League Baseball, something I've commented on before....pretty accurately, it seems.

I hate that I have to do this, but I need to explain myself and why I spend so much time writing about Gary Carter. He's my all-time favorite baseball player. During my first little league game, where I was a catcher (because I was....chubby), in between innings I had my chest protector on. The coach folded it down for me, and said, "There. Now you look like Gary Carter." 'Wow,' I thought. 'Whoever that is, I want to be like him.' And it turned out he was pretty good to have as a favorite player.

Now, if I was an adult at the time Gary Carter played, maybe I wouldn't like him. I'm certainly not crazy about some of the things he has been doing recently. But he's still the guy I loved growing up, and he's still the guy who sent me an autographed picture in response to a letter my mom sent for my 16th birthday, and he'll always be given the benefit of the doubt in my eyes.

Still, I don't fire and hire Major League managers. And I suspect none of those folks are giving Carter the benefit of the doubt. He's been unprofessional going about this whole business of becoming a Major League manager. He's a bit full of himself, and it's to the point where I've set aside his book, because it turns out you can't take too much of Gary Carter at once. (I will review the book sometime in the next month, when school is out and I finish it.) And all of his flaws make him an easy target for someone like Jeff Pearlman, who wrote that ESPN article I linked to above.

But I think Gary Carter means well. I don't think he wants Willie Randolph to be fired, I think he just wants to manage the Mets. I know you can't have one without the other, but Gary Carter likes to talk, and when you ask him if he'd take the managing job with the Mets, he's going to tell you what he thinks, whether or not someone already has that job. And I think some of the heat he's catching is a little unfair. Especially from a guy like Keith Hernandez. On the SNY broadcast the weekend this Gary Carter thing came down, Hernandez called Carter "unconscious", meaning he doesn't think much about anything or anyone. That's my interpretation of it anyway - I was in Washington, so I didn't hear it live. But I feel like that's unfair, that Hernandez has this podium, and he's taking shots at someone who can't respond.

Anyway, I agree Carter shouldn't have said what he said. I would love to see him manage in the majors someday, because I would love to root for him to do well. But I don't think, after this, that it's going to happen anytime soon. And I don't think it will happen at all with the Mets, especially under current ownership. I just hope people stop taking shots at him so I don't have to be embarrassed and feel that I have to defend my favorite player.

COMING IN JUNE: You may have noticed May was a tough month for the blog. Hopefully, with the Mets back to .500 and seeming to have turned a corner this week, we'll be back to everyday updates in June. (And school ending will help, too.)

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