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Carter chats with Blue Jays fans

Carter chats with Blue Jays fans

In a Web chat on Tuesday, former Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter talked about playing in Toronto, the current team, his famous World Series home run and more.

Carter: Welcome everybody who has joined in on the chat today. We are looking forward to all of the great questions and answers, but more important, we are looking forward to the reunion coming up in a couple of weeks.

manofhour: Joe! Great to chat with you! Who are you closest with on the World Series teams?

Carter: Well, Devon [White] and Robbie [Alomar], those are probably the two that I have been the closest with and that I've stayed in contact with. But probably, I've spoken with everyone over the years.

lovethejys: What was the pitch that Mitch Williams threw you? My friends and I argue about this all the time!

Carter: It was a cut fastball. Down and in at about 200 mph!

Manderson: Did you feel pressure to do well after being picked so high in the Draft?

Carter: No, not at all, I didn't feel pressure. It was fun, and I looked at it as an opportunity, but there was no pressure for me to make me a better ballplayer.

jesse2929: Hey, Joe, I heard that you were trying to track down Pat Borders for the World Series reunion. Did you ever find him? I heard he was in Florida.

Carter: Yeah, we did get a response back from him, and hopefully he will be there for the reunion.

bigbat80: Hi, Joe, looking forward to you guys coming up to Toronto this August. I hear you guys are playing in the Jays Care foundation golf tournament on Aug. 6. My question is, how is your golf game these days, and how many yards do you usually drive the ball?

Carter: Well, I'm down to a three handicap, and probably drive the ball about 310 yards.

jmilner: Other than the 1993 World Series home run, what is your favourite baseball memory?

Carter: 1992 -- Winning the World Series!

tullyd: Which moment was more special for you: the final out in 1992, or hitting the home run in 1993?

Carter: The first one is always more special, but the second one was the best.

thebigggs: How did you get involved with Pros vs. Joes?

Carter: Ha ha ha. ... That was a great experience. I got to experience New Orleans on Halloween Night, which was a lot of fun. But it was through some earlier contacts that they contacted me. so it was a lot of fun. I feel for those Joes, though, they get beat up real bad!

bigred1983: Hey, Joe, besides Rogers Centre, which ballpark was your favourite to hit in, and why?

Carter: Fenway Park, because the wall was only 300 feet to left field. I had a lot of home runs there.

bluebirds1: Hey, Joe, I was just wondering if you ever see yourself working with the Blue Jays organization in the not-so-far future? If so, at what capacity?

Carter: Well, you never say never, so I don't know if I would, but it would probably be in a front-office position. That is probably the only way I would ever get back in baseball. I don't think that I would want to get into coaching -- it would take away from my golf game.

cahewitt: What are you doing now?

Carter: Playing golf!

aladyami: Do ballplayers answer the letters sent to them through the post office from their fans?

Carter: Some ballplayers do. I answered my letters and sign them. There are certain times that you get letters that are touching and hit home, and we definitely answer those.

marche316: Are any of your children going to play baseball?

Carter: My son Jordan is playing at Georgia Tech, and he is looking forward to following in his dad's footsteps.

tullyd: Question about today's Blue Jays: Do you think they should trade Roy Halladay?

Carter: NO! You win with pitching and defense, and he is the best pitcher in the American League!

marche316: Given the Blue Jays team the way it is now, would you change anything, and do you think they have a contender if everyone stays healthy?

Carter: Well, yeah, if everybody stays healthy. You saw at the beginning of the year how well they were doing. Health is always going to be a major issue every year.

photojim: How did you feel when you were traded to Toronto from San Diego? Honest answer. :) I think we can all agree it worked out really well for all of us, but I'm wondering what your thoughts and emotions were at the time.

Carter: My initial thought was that I was upset when it first happened, because I had just signed a three-year contract with San Diego. I was never upset where I was going but upset that I was traded.

sds1978: What were you thinking as you watched the ball go over the wall in Game 6 of the '93 World Series?

Carter: That I didn't see it, because I lost it in the lights. I didn't actually see the ball go over the wall, but after that it was Party Time!!! The fireworks, people partying in the street and everyone kicking out onto Bloor and Yonge! Party Time!

aladyami: How do you keep your spirits up when the team is on a losing streak?

Carter: What I did was that you always have to be optimistic. When you are going through bad times, you just have to think you are going to win the next game and always believe. I was good at thinking that, and the teams I played on always thought that way.

peterjfan: What do you attribute as the main component for success in those two World Series-winning teams?

Carter: One was confidence. Two was discipline. Three was that we were very talented.

smelly222: What would you have been if you weren't a ballplayer?

Carter: I would have been a football player. I played quarterback in college at Wichita State. If I wasn't a professional athlete, I would have been an accountant. My major was accounting in college.

wellar14: Is it true that you and "Wild Thing" (Mitch Williams) played a game of pool after the World Series game?

Carter: Not right after the World Series game we didn't. But in 1998 we went bowling at Mitch's alley, and I won. We also played pool after, and I won that, too!

ammowasted: How old were you when you first started playing baseball?

Carter: I was seven years old. So that was 20 years ago! Ha ha!

ammowasted: Joe, what's your favourite flavour of Gatorade?

Carter: Uh ... I like the purple one.

jaysfan1983: Hey, Joe, do you follow the Jays at all? I mean, do you watch games and look 'em up in the standings?

Carter: Yes, I follow them all the time. Every time I see the paper, I look to see how they've done and who is playing well. Especially now that Cito is there again.

tullyd: How was your relationship with Cito Gaston during those World Series years?

Carter: Mine was excellent. Cito has been like a father figure to me. It couldn't get any better than that. Cito has a great demeanor, and he instills confidence in you. He lets you play and doesn't put any undue pressure on you. He is the best manager that I've ever played for, without a doubt.

johnnhoj82: Joe, what was your most memorable game outside of the World Series?

Carter: I guess it was against the New York Yankees when I played for Cleveland as a rookie. I hit two home runs, including a grand slam. That was in 1984.

johnnhoj82: Have you ever played golf with Tiger Woods?

Carter: Yes, I did play with Tiger Woods in 1994. He was just getting ready to go to college. I beat him!!! One hole!!! I birdied a par-3 230 yards, hit a five-wood then made the putt to beat him. I only beat him that one hole! He shot a 68 that day, and it was his home course in Anaheim. A good friend of mine played on the pro tour, and he was able to arrange it for me, as Tiger was a baseball fan.

brocls: Hey, Joe, who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced?

Carter: The toughest pitcher I ever faced was the pitcher that I didn't know. But if I had to pick one, it would be Mike Smithson. ... He played for the Twins, Red Sox. Big, 6'8" guy.

jmilner: Some years ago I heard you were going to write your autobiography. Is that something you'd be interested in doing?

Carter: Noooo. I was not writing an autobiography. Not something that I'd be looking at right now.

blujayfan1: Do you miss Toronto?

Carter: Oh, of course I do. Toronto was my favourite city, and if I wasn't living here in Kansas City, my second choice would be Toronto.

adhesvive: Was the pitch you hit out in the '93 Series that bad a pitch? From watching replays, it seemed to be in a spot that would normally cause a right-handed pull hitter to roll over on and hit a weak grounder to the left side.

Carter: No, Mitch made a very good pitch, but because I was looking for a breaking ball, I could keep the ball in play, because usually I would pull that foul and into the dugout.

Brianb: We need another bat, Joe. How much would it cost for you to come out of retirement?

Carter: Oh, I would take the minimum, but who's going to run for me! I can still hit, but I don't know about the running part! I would need a DR -- designated runner!

tullyd: Who started the "Winfield Wants Noise" thing in 1992? Winfield, or was it the whole team?

Carter: Well, that was something that we all discussed. One thing that we always did was talk among ourselves, and we always appreciated that SkyDome was sold out. We wanted that home-field advantage, and we wanted some loud, ruckus, home-field fans. When the crowd was loud, as soon as we walked out for batting practice, there was a buzz that went from the first time we went out there to the end of the game, and that was exactly what we wanted as players. It definitely all ... helped us.

jaysfan1983: If you can change anything about Rogers Centre, what would it be?

Carter: Oh, no. I love ... that park. I've never hit in Rogers Centre, but I loved hitting in SkyDome!

tcon2993: What do you like better during a game, gum or seeds?

Carter: Seeds. Just your regular old sunflower seeds. We only had the one flavour then.

lil_toki: Do you come to Toronto often?

Carter: The last couple of years, I have been there quite a bit. Now that I'm an empty-nester, I hope to be there a lot more.

wellar14: Did you ever think of coming back to get you to the 400-homer mark? You only need four homers.

Carter: Nope. I never thought about it. Once I retired I was retired for good. I didn't worry about numbers. I retired because I was in a hotel room in San Francisco and my kids were running track, playing baseball, and I was missing that, and they asked me to come home, and it was time for me to come home. Plus, a lot of guys just don't know when to give it up. I was not one of those guys.

tcon2993: How often did you work out in the offseason?

Carter: I would start working out in December, the end of the year, and I worked out every day. I would take about two and a half months off, and then at the first of the year, it would get back to the get-going again. I would lift, lift, lift and cardio, and I would always play some basketball, because I hated to run. I would only run with a basketball in my hand.

peterjfan: Who is your favorite ball player today, and then your all-time favorite?

Carter: My favorite player today of the guys playing is probably Albert Pujols. He is probably the best hitter in baseball right now. I always tried to watch Hank Aaron when I was growing up and model myself after the way he played. He was a phenomenal athlete.

jayluck: That last year with WAMCO in 1995 (WAMCO being White, Alomar, Molitor, Carter, Olerud) didn't go so well. If a couple of things had gone right that year, could that season also have been a playoff year?

Carter: I felt that all the years that I played there that we had a playoff caliber team. You had to take advantage of the chances along the way to get to the playoffs, because that just doesn't happen all the time.

dwight12: I'm a Phillies fan, so I have to ask, when you hit the walk-off in 1993, what was going through your mind at the plate, and when you touched home plate?

Carter: What goes through your mind is that you don't believe that it is really happening. It was an out-of-body experience. After I thought I had to touch them all, [my next thought] was to fall down when I hit home because I was just going to get pounded -- don't stand up, because I'm going to get knocked down.

mark_l: When you were playing, did talks about players being traded have any affect on morale in the clubhouse?

Carter: No, guys never talked about that. It was never something that the guys talked about. It can be a distraction, though, because all the rumors and media is asking everyone what they think. I know that is going on there in Toronto now with Halladay rumors, and yes, sure it can be distracting in the clubhouse.

gojaysgo95: Hey, Joe. I just bought your jersey yesterday ... LOL! Do you think that your career was under-appreciated because you played north of the border?

Carter: Oh, definitely! I don't think that my home run gets the respect that it deserves here in the U.S. because I played in Canada, but I know there in Toronto and Canada that I'm No. 1.

bgg11104: How nervous were you when you came up to at bat in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series?

Carter: Was not nervous. I enjoyed the spotlight. I wanted to be there. I was more nervous watching the other guys hit more than when I hit. You get more nervous that way, because you can't control what anyone else is going to do, but I can control what I'm going to do.

loshyo: What do you think of the Raptors this year, Joe?

Carter: Well, I know Bosh was exciting. They've got a little ways to go, but you never know. They need to keep him -- he's a big hog in that engine there, and I know what a great place Toronto is when you have a winner there, and they will get behind him.

erikabear: When/why did you decide you wanted to bring everyone back together for this amazing weekend?

Carter: Well, you know, when you're retired as long as we have been, all you have is your memories. And to get everyone back to tell all the lies on how good we used to be, you don't pass that up!

cambria8: If Roberto Alomar is inducted into the Hall of Fame next year, will you attend his induction ceremony?

Carter: I have never been up there, but -- that is a good question -- I can't see why I wouldn't. I think the only reason that I wouldn't is that if I was scheduled in somewhere else. I think that he'll get in there.

peterjfan: How do you feel the steroid issue has affected baseball and its history?

Carter: Well, it has affected it a lot, because we are all kind of guilty by association, but what it has done is that it has taken away numbers like mine, 396, but now the bar has been set to these astronomical numbers, like 500, and makes our numbers make minuscule. All these guys that have used steroids and cheated -- I hope they all get caught. It's a real black eye for baseball.

andy1285: How was Rickey Henderson when you played with him? What was he like in the clubhouse?

Carter: Rickey was definitely Rickey. He was one of the best things to happen to us. He is the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. All those stories you hear are true -- he's a real funny guy.

lil_toki: Where do you like to go eat when you are in Toronto?

Carter: Well, the best dessert place was Wanda's Pie in the Sky. It's up in Yorkville. They used to always send desserts to the clubhouse for me! But we all used to love Movenpick Marche.

mlb56476: How did your passion for baseball grow?

Carter: Well, it all started with my father, who was always listening to the Dodgers. I was a big Cincinnati Reds fan, and I remember only being four or five years old and staying up and listening to the game on the radio. Plus, I was always good at it, so that helped.

hoosie17: Who in the Major Leagues right now reminds you of yourself?

Carter: I've always liked Scott Rolen. He plays when he is hurt. He hustles. He just does things the way that you're supposed to do them. He doesn't take the time off, and he always runs out those ground balls. I've always liked watching him play, and you appreciate watching guys like that play.

peter7878: Joe, where are you going to be signing autographs during the Back2back reunion? I have a home run ball that you hit in Tigers Stadium, and I want you to sign it.

Carter: I will be signing autographs on Friday, Aug. 7, at Section 518 with my good friend Candy Maldonado from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Remember -- one autograph per person, ha ha!

Lost_in_the_UK: Are you still active in baseball these days?

Carter: No. I'm more active in my golf these days.

tullyd: Is Dave Winfield coming back for the reunion?

Carter: Yes, he is. Looking forward to seeing him. Remember, Winfield wants noise! There is a full list of everyone coming at bluejays.com/back2back.

blujayfan1: How did the team celebrate winning the World Series?

Carter: We were all celebrating into the wee hours of the morning, that-s for sure. I'm sure that the whole country of Canada was out there with us!

mark_l: Great to see you on Twitter. Do you have a website, too?

Carter: The Twitter thing has been a lot of fun -- great way to stay in contact with fans. I don't have a website, but you can always catch up with me at Twitter.com/@JoeCarter_29. You can tweet me there.

tcon2993: What was the toughest part about being an MLB player?

Carter: Facing the tough pitching and, of course, all the travel.

tullyd: Did you get a chance to ever hit at Exhibition Stadium as a visiting player?

Carter: Yes, when I played for Cleveland. I'm glad they moved to SkyDome!

cambria8: Are we allowed to get pictures, or would that delay the line too long?

Carter: I think that there are no posed pictures because of the line issue, but you can take pictures while I'm signing. I don't think that is an issue.

Thank you everybody for participating. I had some great questions, and hopefully you've gotten a better idea of myself. Looking forward to Aug. 7-9, and y'all better come out, because CARTER WANTS NOISE!

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