Not a Redskins market
When I read in The Sun that the National Football League considers Baltimore a Washington Redskins television market, it upsets me.
In the next six to 12 months, the city of Baltimore's football fate will be decided, possibly for a generation. For those who remember what an enjoyment the great Colts tradition was, I would urge to take a few minutes and let the NFL powers know that we will never become a Redskins market and that we are capable of becoming one of the great NFL cities again.
Write to the commissioner and the owners and tell them we want football.
Rick Frazier Columbia
How about Memorial Park?
Upon the completion of the new stadium complex, Memorial Stadium will be demolished. I believe that the land it occupies should be developed into a public park. The park should include the actual baseball field of Memorial Stadium. The field would be used for amateur baseball games. Lighted fields which could be used for football, soccer and lacrosse should also be included in the park. Since the Baltimore area lacks tennis courts, several should be included in the park. In addition, an indoor ice arena could also be constructed. Ice arenas are scarce in the Baltimore area, and the arena would eventually pay for itself.
It is important to remember that Memorial Stadium is a memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice for freedom. I feel that the park should be named "Memorial Park" in order to guarantee that this land will always be a memorial to our heroes.
Shawn Blair Lutherville
Wants horse-racing changes
Dale Austin is the Howard Cosell of horse racing, and he should work for the know-it-all Baltimore Sun, strictly for big business and keep the little guy down.
1. The state should change the racing laws, simulcast races at night from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and make a tri-state alliance. Simulcast races to Timonium, Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frederick, etc. split the money among the states, horsemen and state-owned utilities operated by the state of Maryland (thoroughbred and sulky races).
2. Two-dollar bets on all exotic bets (triples, etc.), one-half payoff instead of one-third payoff for $3 bet as it is now in Maryland. What a ripoff! Why don't you comment on this, Mr. "Cosell" Austin?
3. Let Timonium keep the 10 days of racing. No foreign sports (Blast, etc.) or more racing for big business. If you have legalized gambling, it should be operated and owned by the state.
4. When does the state start getting the tax take-out again? Pimlico and Laurel get this money forever.
5. Dale Austin, The Sun and The Evening Sun are the mouthpiece for Pimlico and Laurel. Their policy is to destroy the small tracks and give it all to big business. Maryland fans and taxpayers deserve better.
Terry Winner Lutherville
Terps lack big-time commitment
Now that Maryland football has exposed itself as the same team with the same problems as in the past, I feel justified in writing this letter.
Since the departure of Bobby Ross, the university has failed in its attempt to bring big-time football to its fans (or former ones). Granted, the new facilities should help, but alone this will not get the job done. Only high quality coaches and a firm commitment to be more than just "competitive in the ACC." will prevail.
The fans and their support are out here . . . waiting, so how about it Maryland? Make the commitment or be honest enough and tell the fans that a 5-6 season is all that we can expect.
`Ronald E. Rehberger Hagerstown
Forget free agents
Why is it that Peter Schmuck is so high on free agents? Since the end of the season, he has been recommending that the Orioles sign some free agents. The Orioles need a power hitter and a veteran pitcher. The Orioles should make trades in the off-season, but they ought to skip the free agents.
Why should the Orioles' beat writer want them to sign free agents? Surely the Orioles' recent history shows the weakness in the free-agent strategy. Coming off a disappointing 1984, the Orioles signed Lee Lacy and Fred Lynn to solidify the middle of their order. The Orioles' descent just continued. After 1986, when it seemed that things couldn't get any worse, the Orioles signed Ray Knight and Rick Burleson. Things got worse.
Since 1988, very few free agents have brought a team a divisional title. Kirk Gibson helped the Dodgers win their title in 1988. Tony Pena and Jeff Reardon have been instrumental in the Red Sox's campaign this season. Last season Mike Moore was a big winner for the A's, but it's hard to say that any one player is essential to Oakland's success. Thus, in the past three seasons, free agents have helped teams achieve 25 percent of the divisional titles. This is not a very impressive record. This failure is even more apparent when you consider that Milwaukee, Kansas City and California spent significant amounts of money to sign supposedly essential free agents. All three finished poorly. At least Dave Parker gave Milwaukee its money's worth.