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Papa Rautins, Don't Preach

To this day I remember the name Joe Pavitis. Not sure if that's how you spell it but I remember how you say it (pa-vee-tus). Joe Pavitis was a kid on my Little League team when I was ten. We were the Yankees (as much as that pains me to this day) and Joe was our star pitcher.

I also remember Joe's Dad. Joe's Dad would be there every time (and only when) Joe pitched. He would holler, he would yell and he would say all sorts of things to psyche his son up. Joe's Dad never did anything outrageous but I think he was asked to leave once or twice. He never hit Joe (as far we saw but you kind of suspected) but he did talk a little too salty in regards to the goings-on on a Little League baseball game.
I don't know what ever became of Joe Pavitis.

By the time we got to high school he wasn't there. I'd like to think he made something of himself, met a nice girl, had some kids and currently resides in Skokie, Illinois where he coaches the local high school baseball team. In reality, its more likely that Joe viciously murdered his father by stuffing dirty bas
eball stirrups into his mouth until he choked to death and is currently serving 50 to life up in Shawshank.

I bring up Joe Pavitis because that was my first memory of the overbearing sports father figure. Sure there's a few feel-good stories out there but for the most part, does that usually end well? Hell, I know we love to parade around Tiger Woods and his Dad but you're telling me Tiger's Dad didn't make him cry more than a few times after a couple missed greens when he was seven? Point is, I'm just wary of this kind of stuff. There's way more Marinovich's out there than Wood's.

Mike Waters reported last night that Andy Rautins has earned a spot on Canada's Senior National Team. I thought "good for you Andy." Then I thought it was a little odd that his Dad, Leo, was the one making the announcement. I thought for sure the team coach would be a little pissed. Not so much, you see, cause Leo IS the coach.


The junior Rautins joins Sam Dalembert on the team as well as...well, I'm not sure. I can't really find an official announcement as to whose on the roster (other than the fact that Jamaal Magloire ISN'T on it), which troubles me even more about Leo giving his son a shout-out.

Look, I don't know anything about the Rautins family and how they operate. I've never gotten the sense before that Leo is one of "those parents" and I'll reserve any further judgment until I read "Rautins Attacks Boeheim With Rusty Knife Over Son's Benching" in one of my Google Alerts.

But you know, if you're the coach of the national team and you wanna put your son on the team, no special treatment please. It just sends the wrong idea. Andy's a good little ballplayer but I just hope we don't get a situation like they had for
Arkansas football once these incoming freshman start taking Andy's PT in the upcoming season.

Incidentally, I do like that Steve Nash has basically become the Jerry "The Logo" West of Canadian basketball, at least on the official website.