Vince pours salt on wound

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Vince Carter didn't think the jersey was disrespectful, but then again he doesn't always think about anyone but himself. Carter's appearance Friday night at the Air Canada Centre wearing a Julius Erving jersey was a sharp slap in the face to Raptors management and ownership, even if they wouldn't admit it as such.

It was little secret Carter wanted Dr. J to run the Raptors after general manager Glen Grunwald was fired a year ago. But his cheekiness in wearing the Erving jersey to Friday's game was a not-so-subtle shot at current GM Rob Babcock and president Richard Peddie, the man who hired him.

Worse than that, though, it was a shot at close friend and team chairman, Larry Tanenbaum, who had to approve the selection of Babcock over Carter's clear choice. "I'm not disrespecting Larry," said Carter, seemingly shocked by the question. "I talked to Larry yesterday. We're okay."

Just so long as we know that.

THIS AND THAT

The difference in home openers: The Boston Red Sox brought in Bobby Orr, Bill Russell and Tedy Bruschi to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. The Blue Jays brought in Ricky, Julian and Bubbles at the stadium formerly known as the SkyDome ... There is a certain peril in believing anything Alexander Mogilny says. Within days, he told one reporter that he might retire because of hip pain and then told one hockey person that he has never felt better and looks forward to next season ... The Lakers will miss the playoffs for the fifth time in 58 years. The Raptors will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in 10 seasons ... And one more Carter number: For all the revisionist historians out there, the Raptors won just one playoff series in Carter's time in Toronto. Just one ... Being sold at Dodger Stadium: Caps that read "Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles ... How come the CFL draft isn't on television? And is there a Canadian version of Mel Kiper?

HEAR AND THERE

Money doesn't ruin everyone: When a longtime Toronto baseball writer was in hospital recently for heart surgery, one of the well-wishers by e-mail just happened to be ex-Blue Jay Carlos Delgado ... Defaming Brian Burke? I didn't know it was possible ... Raymond Bourque's son, Chris, has left Boston University and decided to play in the Quebec Junior League. Said Chris: "I didn't think (college) was going to be as hard or as serious as it was." .... Don Cherry and Tie Domi sell: Quizno's sales are apparently way up since the hockey commercials went to air ... It's hard to give Raptors coach Sam Mitchell a free ride in his rookie year when his team has given up more than 100 points in 14 of its past 18 games. By comparison, the Miami Heat has given up more than 100 points four times in its past 18 games ... Professional sport should introduce the Terrell Owens rule, enabling teams to re-negotiate contracts whenever they damn well feel like it.

SCENE AND HEARD

A promotion made for Vince McMahon: Vijay Singh vs. Phil Mickelson, a club match ... And batting ninth this week for the suddenly old Yankees: Bernie Williams ... Veron Wells stopped hitting about the same time he revealed that Desperate Housewives was among his favourite television shows. Coincidence? I think not ... How did the Raptors react to New Jersey's zone defence? "They were clueless," said backup Rodney Buford ... Isn't this about the time the Ottawa Senators get eliminated and go looking for a goalie to blame? ... Jalen Rose has become the best all-around sound byte in Toronto ... Best named player agent: Jay Fee ... Riddick Bowe weighed in at 280 pounds for his most recent comeback fight, which means if I'm Lennox Lewis, I'm thinking about a comeback for one more easy payday.

AND ANOTHER THING

What will last longer? The NHL lockout, the Gomery Commission or Todd Bertuzzi's suspension? ... Clearly New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez has lost his mind. How else do you explain him telling the Red Sox to stick their World Series ring where the sun doesn't shine ... Loved Bud Geracie's take on Tiger Wood's remarkable chip shot at the Masters: "Tiger's amazing shot at No. 16 actually is one I've made a number of times at my local course. Into the clown's mouth, out of his ear, and into the cup," Geracie wrote in the San Jose Mercury News ... Never mind Corey Koskie. Manitoba's favorite pitcher: Brandon League ... I live for halftime interviews with Jim Todd ... Say this for Donyell Marshall, soon to be a former Raptor. The guy did his job in Toronto. He played hard and played well, not always under the best of circumstances ... Gary Sheffield did nothing wrong by throwing a punch at a fan at Fenway Park. The minute any fan enters the playing field, all bets are off ... Not sold on Blue Jays' Russ Adams as a major-league shortstop. He makes the easy look too difficult and already Eric Hinske has saved him about three errors with good scoops at first base ... And hey, whatever became of Mark Bragagnolo?


Videos

Photos