Would Irsay spirit him away?
If the Orioles lose Cal Ripken, it will be like the day Baltimore lost the Colts. What are they thinking of?
Take the local
Assuming that the MSL does not play this next season, but is able to resume operations next year, here's a way to make the best of a bad situation: The Blast management should organize open tryouts whereby local teams would compete against each other so that their outstanding players can be evaluated. Ultimately, a true Baltimore Blast team can be fielded when the league returns.
With the release of Billy Ronson, there are few, if any, current players living in Baltimore. As a former sponsor of the Blast, I would consider supporting a team so that local talent would have the opportunity to be seen. Games could be played at the Baltimore Arena with reasonable ticket prices so that soccer fans will not have to wait a year to enjoy the game. Another idea would be to let fans attending vote for their favorite players during this amateur season, much like baseball's All-Star team is selected.
If these ideas work, they could result in a renewed enthusiasm for indoor soccer, as Baltimore fans will become attached to hometown players, and that will mean larger attendance when the MSL returns.
We need racing vroom
OK, Governor Schaefer, now that you got your wish with the successful completion of the now-famous yard downtown, here is a way you can hit your second grand slam:
It's really very simple -- grant the wishes of thousands of Marylanders and support the construction of a NASCAR super speedway somewhere in Maryland.
Not only is NASCAR racing the most exciting spectator sport in America, it's also the fastest-growing. You would find out very quickly that Preakness Week would take a rear seat to NASCAR racing, not only in a popularity contest, but also in total revenues for the state.
Let's move the speed limit from 55 to 225 in Maryland just for one week anyway. Come on, what do you say?
No playground ball
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, play's not the thing. I have been given playground opening dates of early May, mid-May, end of May and early June. Every opening is two weeks later than the current call. On June 16, I was referred to the Maryland Stadium Authority. The Maryland Stadium Authority referred me back to the Orioles.
I have three lower-box seats on the third-base side that challenge neck and shoulder muscles for a view of home plate. There was no reduction in ticket prices. The Hit and Run Club where I used to enjoy pre-game dinners is no more. There was no reduction in ticket price. The playground that used to offer welcome respite for my grandchild is lost somewhere between the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority. There was no reduction in ticket price.
What has happened? The facility is beautiful, and the team record is great. It is energizing to be a force of reckon and the mold of form. Still, I lament the passing of some considerations.
Nancy W. Gist
Better change managing ways
I hope the Orioles fans who thought that Johnny Oates is the answer as manager are finally starting to see the light. If the four games of June 13-16 don't convince you that Johnny doesn't know how to manage a big-league ball team, then nothing will.
In Detroit, he left Bob Milacki in after he gave up four runs in the first; they were down seven by the third. Then, in the next, he left Jose Mesa in longer than he should have. The next day, when he should have left Rick Sutcliffe in, he took him out.
Oates' decision-making has cost the Orioles a lot of runs and a lot of games. Roland Hemond, Larry Lucchino or whoever is in charge better tell Oates to change his managerial style or the Orioles will be sinking as if in quicksand in the American League East.
Don't be party poopers
Suppose they gave a party and nobody came! That is an old saying that applies today in sports here in Baltimore.
To have a great party, you need a place to hold it, Oriole Park at Camden Yards. You need food, which is in abundance at the park. You need entertainment, which the 1992 Orioles are ready and very able to give us. And it helps to have a drawing card or someone who appeals to everyone. That's another thing we have here -- Cal Ripken Jr.
The fans go to watch all the players because they make up the Orioles. But, just as the previous fans went to see Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Boog Powell because they were the Baltimore Orioles, so the fans of today go to see Cal Ripken because he is the Orioles.
If Orioles management is not smart enough to realize this, it may find fewer people going to the party. Pay the man what he is worth, because he is more dependable in his playing than many of the high-priced players in the league now.
Loretta F. Dahlem
Call them the Salary Caps