View Full Version : A good "New York Times" article about Garth.

03-21-2000, 08:54 AM
Hey <P>I saw a copy of this on the G-box. <P>...............<P>Brooks Learns the Ropes But He'll Stick to Music<P>By Tyler Kepner<P>PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., March 17 - When Garth Brooks was introduced as a<BR>member of the Mets, he made it clear he would never trade his career as a<BR>country singer for one in baseball. In the month since, Brooks has managed<BR>to fit into his temporary surroundings while never forgetting where he came<BR>from.<P>Brooks is a ballplayer until Sunday, when he leaves to begin preparations<BR>for the Academy Awards on March 26. He has not acted like a celebrity, and<BR>he could not have afforded to. "If he had come in, didn't do anything and<BR>expected to get respect, it probably wouldn't have worked," Mets third<BR>baseman Robin Ventura said.<P>At the end of the workday, Ventura can sign a few autographs on his way to<BR>his car and disappear into anonymity. Brooks is always a star. Ventura<BR>does not envy that, and said he thought Brooks had "the worst end of the<BR>celebrity business." But Brooks believes the players have the greater<BR>burden. <B>"As far as their talent, I've always understood that," Brooks said.<BR>"As far as their kind of celebrity, would I want that? No, thank you."</B><BR><B><BR>No player spent as much time with fans or accommodated reporters more<BR>readily than Brooks did. But the season-long, day-to-day life of a<BR>ballplayer is something he said he could not handle. There are no reporters<BR>in Brooks's dressing room when he goes from town to town on a concert tour.<BR>Fans do not know where he stays on the road. He gives interviews when he<BR>has a specific reason to do so. He performs for fans, and nobody boos.<P>"If I don't want to be got to, no one can touch me," Brooks said. "If I<BR>want to blow up and I want to throw a chair through a Coke machine, I can do<BR>it and nobody would ever know about it."</B><P>There is one aspect of a ballplayer's life that Brooks does envy. <B>"You look<BR>in the stands and all it is are kids, and if it ain't kids, it's a 6-foot<BR>kid that wants to be a kid," Brooks said. "That's my favorite thing about<BR>this game. Anything else they can have - those darn buses, those darn<BR>planes and staying in a hotel where everyone knows where you're at, I don't<BR>see how they do it. And 160 games a year - are you kidding me?"</B><P>The main purpose of Brooks's venture has been to advance his Touch 'Em All<BR>Foundation, a charity that benefits children's causes. He has been<BR>successful in doing that: 68 players helped to raise $2.1 million last<BR>year, but more than 100 players, including 13 Mets, participate now. The<BR>players pledge money for each hit, home run or any other statistical<BR>measure, and their contributions are matched by both a corporate and a<BR>celebrity sponsor. The goal for this year, he said, is $8 million.<P>The other reason is that Brooks loves baseball. That is reflected in his<BR>effort. "He works harder than some guys on this team do, and that's great,"<BR>the reliever Turk Wendell said.<P>But the baseball has not gone as well as the charity. Brooks, who was 1 for<BR>22 last spring for the San Diego Padres, is still seeking his first hit this<BR>spring. He popped out twice against Detroit today and now is 0 for 15 with<BR>four strikeouts. His best chance for a hit came this week on an infield<BR>chopper he could not beat out. Afterward, Wendell asked Brooks if he played<BR>the piano, because it looked as if he was carrying one on his way down the<BR>line. Brooks has earned the right to get such good-natured clubhouse<BR>ribbing.<P>"The majority of guys have said, 'You're here now, you're one of us,'"<BR>Wendell said. By the end of the weekend, though, Brooks will resume his<BR>life in the world he knows best. As much fun as baseball is for him, that<BR>is the world he prefers. [end of article]<BR>................<P>Scott<BR>ps.<P>Bobby Valentine also said Garth was "one of the most special people he's ever been around"N