Rip at Ripken-Sandberg article
I am writing regarding Peter Schmuck's article in The Sun on March 4 that statistically compared Cal Ripken and Ryne Sandberg.
Where does Schmuck come off claiming that besides batting average, "Ripken has clear advantages in almost every other offensive category" over Sandberg? What makes him discount batting average as if it was only an afterthought? The only two categories concentrated on were home runs and RBI. What about stolen bases and runs scored? Sandberg's lead in stolen bases is as wide as the Grand Canyon, while Ripken's lead in home runs is five more per year.
Sandberg has stolen more bases in one year (twice) than Ripken has stolen his entire career. Sandberg has scored more runs in fewer games, and Sandberg has hit almost twice as many triples. How many other different unrelated offensive categories does Schmuck think there are in baseball, anyway?
Ripken's lead in RBI is very misleading. He has always batted third in the order, with Eddie Murray right behind him for most of his career and a non-pitcher batting ninth. While Sandberg, until last year, always batted second with the likes of Gary Matthews, Keith Moreland or Mark Grace (who averages fewer than 10 home runs per year) batting behind him. Who was Sandberg supposed to be driving in? The Cubs' leadoff hitter of the month, the pitcher or the worst-hitting regular in the lineup?
Furthermore, as for "Both . . . are outstanding defensive players." I do not understand how Schmuck can compare nine Gold Gloves to one. Even if I admit that Ripken was robbed of a Gold Glove in 1990, that still leaves the score at 9-2. A rout in almost every sport.
Schmuck's article seemed to imply that when one compares Ripken to Sandberg, Ripken is head and shoulders above Sandberg, and therefore Ripken will command a larger salary than Sandberg. The point I would like to make is that even though Ripken might get a larger salary (he would do much better if he weren't playing for the cheapskate Orioles), Schmuck is dead wrong claiming that he is superior to Sandberg. I'll give you comparable, but definitely not superior.
Taking swing at Anderson
Top 10 reasons why the Orioles should not have signed Brady Anderson:
1. He can't play left field.
2. He can't play center field.
3. He can't play right field.
4. He can't play third base.
5. He can't play shortstop.
6. He can't play second base.
7. He can't play first base.
8. He can't play catcher.
9. He can't pitch.
10. He can't bat.
Bring back the Boss
Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent should make a clear decision on the future of George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees. Steinbrenner's association with Howard Spira has been over for a year, and Spira is now in jail. Steinbrenner was never convicted of anything illegal during that time. He is still being denied reinstatement even though he is managing general partner and majority owner.
The Yankees desperately need leadership in management and without it will continue to be at the bottom of the American League East. Vincent is being hypocritical and contradicting himself if he refuses to allow Steinbrenner to be associated with baseball. How can the Yankees be run as an organization, if Steinbrenner is not allowed any contact with the game, but still remains president of the team?
Louis W. D'Alesandro
Going to mat for wrestling
In recent years I have read with interest of the great accomplishments of the Dunbar and Calvert Hall basketball teams and of the City and Poly football powerhouses.
Baltimore's high school sports teams are deservedly a source of pride for our city. Unfortunately, Baltimore's most remarkable sports accomplishment was once again relegated to the back pages this year.
Mount St. Joe's wrestling team just won its 17th consecutive MSA title this month. Gerald Ford was president, the Vietnam War was ending and many of this year's MSA titlists were not born the last time St. Joe was not the MSA wrestling champ. Ask any high school coach in any sport how likely it would be for them to win 17 straight MSA championships. This is a phenomenal achievement that was buried on Page 26 of the Sunday paper and the second-to-last page on Monday. I suspect this will not be the case if (hopefully) Dunbar captures the mythical national basketball title.
Wrestling is not that popular, you say. Perhaps by banishing its coverage to the back of the paper, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is an exciting sport that displays the character, emotions and athletic ability of its dedicated participants. Great rivalries develop between wrestlers over seasons and careers, which, if covered in the papers, could generate interest and attendance.
J. William Cook IV