Orioles specialize in bad dealsFor some time I've watched...


April 12, 1992

Orioles specialize in bad deals

For some time I've watched in disbelief the personnel moves made by the Jacobs-Hemond-Oates regime. I've resigned myself to the fact that most of their decisions are profit-driven and not based on baseball considerations.

However, the recent decision to give Brady Anderson the leadoff job is pure lunacy. Brady Anderson has been with the Orioles for four years and is a career .219 hitter. He has no power, and he refuses to take any advice or go to the winter league to improve his skills. Anderson can't hit. He never could, and he never will.

The time has come for the Orioles to come to grips with reality. The organization made some bad personnel moves, and it is time to get rid of some of the deadwood. First, the Mike Boddicker-for-Anderson deal was a mistake. Secondly, the Eddie Murray trade was a disaster of biblical proportions. The Mickey Tettleton-for-Jeff Robinson swap was a miserable blunder. The Phil Bradley-for-Ron Kittle move was a catastrophe.

If the Orioles intend to compete in the American League East, the organization must begin making moves based on performance on the field, not based on the profit margin. The time has come for Eli Jacobs to either make an honest effort to build a winner or sell the team to someone who will.

Andrew C. Witkowski


No more Orioles glory

About 15 years ago, I read a wonderful article in Sports Illustrated about a man's lifelong love affair with the Orioles. What marvelous images that writer evoked: the simple and honest relationship between the team and the town, the team's manifest dedication to excellence in play, and the walk through vibrant blue-collar neighborhoods to the shrine at the top of the hill: Memorial Stadium.

Ten years ago, when I moved to Baltimore, I was eager to be involved in this magical Orioles world, and I was not disappointed. There was a charm, a grace, a humble majesty to this team and its surroundings.

What changes the years have brought. The ugly specter of corporate greed has worked its way to the fore in the Orioles picture. At one point, the organization, for marketing purposes, tried to distance itself from the word "Baltimore." It blackmailed the city and state into building it a new stadium at a time when the city hasn't the funds to educate its children, and the state is making drastic cutbacks. Loyal fans have been banished to outfield seating so that the owner's cronies can have a better view.

The new stadium is supposed to evoke the grand old days of baseball. But sadly, the illusion no longer works for me. The Orioles have become just another slick sky box-equipped power toy for various groups of wealthy associates.

John H. Bonn


Give Babe his due

The Orioles missed the boat by not highlighting the site in center field where Babe Ruth lived and where his dad owned a saloon.

I wrote the Orioles (April 27, 1991) that some kind of commemorative emblem be sodded on the natural grass at that spot. I think this unique feature on the outfield grass would garner a great deal of publicity, locally and nationally. I can just hear play-by-play announcers saying "a line drive base hit right into Babe's living room!"

In her reply to me (May 15, 1991), Janet Marie Smith stated that my idea is "certainly an intriguing one and would be a unique feature in center field. It will be given consideration."

Hey, Orioles, it's still not too late!

Irvin J. Lustman


Dempsey victimized

All Marylanders interested in sports should call or write Orioles management telling them to improve on their short memories from the Orioles' 1991 finale when former catcher and fan favorite Rick Dempsey led the O's cheer, as he did at the recent rally at the new ballpark.

Remind the Orioles brass how much of a public relations blunder they made by inviting him to 1992 spring training, even as a non-roster player, only to let him play sporadically and then make him the last cut.

As if not insulting enough, Oates and Hemond told Dempsey they want him to keep working out with the team for "insurance" purposes should someone get hurt.

Best of luck, Rick, wherever you go and whatever you do.

Harry I. Kleinman

Owings Mills

A lottery for Cal?

OK, so we have a new stadium and it's a beauty, but there's still one major problem looming over the heads of Orioles fans everywhere.

Everyone knows Jacobs is a tightwad who is not looking out for the Orioles fans' desire to win, so we should take matters into our own hands. Since the state could raise millions for a new stadium through sports lotteries, I say let's have one more instant scratch-off and use the $50 million dollars to keep Cal Jr. here six more years.

Ken Flahaven


Keep Bill Ripken

The main thing the Orioles will accomplish if they replace second baseman Bill Ripken with one of those good-fielding .275 hitters will be to increase the boredom factor that hurts major-league baseball.

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