Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

He Continues to Provide Off-the-Field Inspiration

September 02, 1997|RANDY HARVEY

Losing his jobs as center fielder and leadoff hitter, seeing his playing time in left field reduced when Darren Lewis was acquired, Brett Butler must wonder sometimes if he made the right decision in returning to the Dodgers for one final season.

After talking to Christopher Cary last week, I want to assure Butler that he did.

Cary, 63, a prominent English stage actor and director who lives in Los Angeles, learned last April that he has a throat cancer similar to the one that kept Butler out of baseball most of last season.

Like Butler, Cary's initial reaction was that he was going to die.

On opening day this season, Bill Russell penciled Butler's name onto the lineup card.

Cary listed his pall bearers.

In late July, he was watching one of the network morning news and entertainment shows because he was feeling too ill after a month of radiation treatments to do anything else. Butler was one of the guests.

"I was aware before that he had cancer and that he came back," Cary said. "But it had no real meaning for me. He was a jolly good fellow and all that.

"Now, all of a sudden, I'm finding myself in the same boat and needing all the help and inspiration I can get. I began to realize what he had been through. I began to think that his example could pull me through."

Cary is quick to point out that he's "not out of the woods yet." But he's no longer planning to die.

As executive director of the Foundation of the Arts for Cultures and the Environment (FACE), he is planning a 10-day millennium celebration of our planet for 1999 in Fiji. The highlight is a dusk-to-dawn world music concert scheduled Dec. 31.

"The long-term goal is to permanently attach the significance of 'A Celebration of Planet Earth' to every New Year," he said.

He'd like to be here for many of them.

*

How can you help but like the new "Monday Night Football" theme, combining Hank Williams Jr. with the Broadway cast from "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk?" . . .

And critics claim the NFL is the No Funk League. . . .

It will be less fun without Jerry Rice. . . .

Now we'll find out if J.J. Stokes can catch. . . .

Now we'll find out if Steve Mariucci can coach. . . .

No coach has entered the league with so many doubters since Barry Switzer. . . .

Among them is MNF's Dan Dierdorf, who told TV Guide, "I'm not convinced Mariucci can coach in the NFL." . . .

I've never heard anyone say he read Penthouse for the articles. That probably will change, now that the October edition includes an interview with Mike Piazza. . . .

If Eric Young is the Dodger second baseman next year, speculation is that Wilton Guerrero will return to his original position at shortstop. . . .

But Fred Claire says he hasn't given up on talking Greg Gagne out of retirement. . . .

"I brought in Otis Nixon and Eddie Murray to make Greg feel young," Claire says. . . .

Gagne, 35, is the sixth-oldest Dodger behind Murray, 41; Butler, 40; Tom Candiotti, 40; Nixon, 38, and Todd Worrell, 37. . . .

Worrell has been frustrating, but closing isn't as easy as it looks. . . .

Darren Dreifort made one ninth-inning save-situation appearance in the last week, loading the bases with a single and two walks. . . .

Are you ready for some ice hockey? . . .

The Ducks and Kings open training camps a week from today. . . .

King General Manager Dave Taylor knew what he was getting in Luc Robitaille and Gary Galley. Taylor played with both. . . .

The trade for Boston center Jozef Stumpel was more of a gamble. . . .

I think it was a good one. The Kings gave up a dependable backup goalie in Byron Dafoe, but they also were able to unload Dimitri Khristich. He wasn't popular with his teammates. . . .

Taylor earlier tried to send Khristich to Tampa Bay for Chris Gratton. . . .

Don't look for Vancouver to send Pavel Bure to the Kings. It wouldn't be smart for the Canucks to trade him to a team in their division. . . .

Note to the boss: I know UCLA is playing Tennessee and USC is playing Florida State in town Saturday, but, if it's all the same to you, I'll travel to that Cal State Northridge game. . . .

Aloha.

*

While wondering when Ray Rhodes will realize Rodney Peete is his starting quarterback in Philadelphia, I was thinking: Labor Day was more fun because Pete Rose Sr. and Jr. were together in Cincinnati, and Pete Sampras and Petr Korda were together in New York, and Green Bay didn't look guaranteed to repeat.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|