Cito Gaston is headed back to a city he loves.
The two-time World Series-winning manager of the Toronto Blue Jays is set to participate in the 7th annual Joe Carter Classic charity golf tournament this week. The event will bring together sports and entertainment personalities on Wednesday and Thursday to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Aid Foundation.
“It’s certainly for a great cause,” Gaston, 72, says. “I would do anything for Joe and also for the charity. We have a good time.”
This year’s tournament includes Carter, current Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, broadcaster Gregg Zaun and Hazel Mae and many more.
Here’s what Gaston had to say during an interview ahead of the tournament:
How’s your golf game?
I haven’t played much lately because my knee’s been bothering me a little bit. It comes and goes, just like everyone else … Donaldson’s a real good player, though, but he doesn’t like to tell you his handicap. Next time you see him ask him his handicap. See if he gives it to you.
What do you love most about Toronto?
It’s a great city. It’s a clean city, a safe city and the people are nice. I lived there for 20 years year-round and I enjoyed it immensely. It’s a great place to live and a great place to raise your kids. These days, the Raptors are playing well and the Blue Jays, as Jerry Howarth would say, are just about to take flight.
Is this Jays team built to win it all?
I certainly think we can, we just got to stay healthy. They have some consistent starters… and they’re all pitching well. To see (J.A.) Happ come back and pitch the way he has is great. When we got rid of Happ, I really wished we had kept him, but we do have him back and he’s pitching well. I think the bullpen’s starting to come around now and the guys are swinging the bats. (Josh) Donaldson is swinging the bat, which he’s done all year, and (Edwin) Encarnacion’s having a great year. And with the young pitchers the team has – Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna – they’re going to do well.
I think in the long run they have a chance to win it all, I really do.
Do you think a longtime fan favourite like Jose Bautista should finish his career with Toronto?
It would be nice to see. If the team is able to keep Jose there and Edwin, they’ll have a winning team for a long time. That would be nice for Jose and Edwin because I know they love the city and playing there.
What’s your best memory as a Blue Jay?
I’ve had quite a few, but you have to go back to the World Series – Joe’s home run (in Game 6 in the 1993 World Series) and (Dave) Winfield’s double down the line (in Game 6 of the 1992 World Series).
I think the only thing is in 1991 playoffs, I would have preferred to have started Jimmy Key (in Game 5) and I didn’t do that.
Mark Daniell, Postmedia Network |Photo: Sportsnet.ca