AL schedule a mistakeDoes it strike anyone else as odd...

LETTERS

June 23, 1991

AL schedule a mistake

Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Orioles will, on consecutive road trips, travel to Kansas City?

I hope that when the National League expands to 14 teams, it will take a few moments and study the scheduling blunders that have been the hallmark of AL baseball since 1977.

Jesse Howard Crofton

Problems at the top

The Orioles are among the worst teams in baseball, but they are perhaps the best at dissembling and hucksterism. Two recent events emphatically underscore my contention.

Rollie Hemond's two-year contract extension was made to give an aura of stability to a team for sale. It certainly was not made for performance.

He has made the two worst trades in Orioles history: Eddie Murray for, eventually, Juan Bell and the disastrous trade of the Orioles' best pitcher, Pete Harnisch, who has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the National League, and their best outfielder, Steve Finley, who will be a star for the decade to come, for a guy who spent most of the previous year on the disabled list with an even more serious injury. The trade destroyed team chemistry and morale, trading away the team's two most intensely competitive players, forcing its most popular player, Randy Milligan, to move to a position he is not suited for, and giving an enormous, team-high salary to a guy who never has done a thing for the team and who would likely move elsewhere if he had a good year.

The most insulting and angering thing, however, is Eli Jacobs' assertion that he wants to sell the team to have more time to read serious books. Balder--, humbug and pish-posh! He buys companies and sells them at enormous profits. That is what he always has done, and that is what he is doing here. If he were straightforward and forthright about why he is selling the team, I wouldn't mind, though I do think he should agree to a considerable lease extension before selling the team to pay back something for the enormous profits he is going to make, in large measure because of the tax-funded new stadium. Jacobs' posturings are unbecoming to him, and he would be better off just selling the team and having no further comment on the matter.

A new stadium and new ownership next year will be cause for renewed optimism in the Orioles. Perhaps this sad year is a fitting close to the Memorial Stadium era.

Blake Lewis

College Park

Won't miss Jacobs

In reference to Eli Jacobs and the current ownership of the Orioles, since Mr. Jacobs is so adept at reading, he should write a book titled "The Rape of a Major-League Baseball Team."

It's been obvious since his first day of ownership that he doenot have any commitment to putting together a winning or even decent baseball team. The only thing he's committed to is making money with no regard to the people who support the team. The only reason he bought the team in the first place was because, with the new stadium being built, it would be the ultimate investment.

Keep the team until the stadium is built, then sell it for millions in profit because of a new stadium that comes with the team that you and I, the taxpayers, paid for. During the time the stadium is being built, he has maximized his profits by trading or releasing the high-priced players on the team for low-priced castoffs and rookies.

Some might say it is good business, but what about the fans who support the team? It's equivalent to someone's boss or employer telling you that he's rich, but he wants to be richer, so he's cutting your pay. He's doing the same thing by putting an inferior team on the field. The difference is you might be able to go out and get another job, because there are other jobs. But the Orioles are the only team in town, so you can't find another. It's time Jacobs moved on to his next moneymaking scheme and let somebody have the team who cares about the fans that support them.

Michael Wittik Baltimore

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