Gary Carter is in "pretty good spirits" and "standing on his faith" after discovering his brain tumors are inoperable, according to former teammate Darryl Strawberry, who spoke to the Hall of Fame catcher after his diagnosis.

"He's believing and hoping and, whichever way it goes, he's going to be at peace with it," Strawberry said last night after giving a pregame speech at the Hank's Yanks summer league opener at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank. "It's a very difficult time because you don't know . . . it's all up in the air and you hope it turns in your favor."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Biopsies performed on Carter showed he has a glioblastoma, and surgery is not an option because of the location of the tumors. Carter, 57, is expected to undergo aggressive chemotherapy to combat the disease.

Strawberry, a two-time survivor of colon cancer, said he "talked to Gary good . . . the other day" and that "we're trying to keep his family in prayer.

"It's not up to us," Strawberry said. "It's always tough . . . Gary is a strong Christian. He always has been since we were teammates, so he's standing on his faith.

"We just love him."