Gymnastics coverage off beamAt first, I was very pleased...


July 12, 1992

Gymnastics coverage off beam

At first, I was very pleased to see that The Sun ran extensive coverage of the rhythmic gymnastics trials and articles about many of the gymnasts. But, after reading many of these articles, and columns from Mike Littwin, I was fed up with your paper. How can you publicize the most important gymnastics meet in the country in four years and then cut down the sport in columns and even front-page coverage of the "horrors" of the sport?

The Sun's overemphasis of the negative aspects of gymnastics was not balanced by the positive, as you certainly would have covered had this been baseball or basketball. Instead of knocking Bela Karolyi for being tough, you should have stressed that he is the best coach in gymnastics for the past three decades. If his statistics were held by a coach of any other sport, he would be on the front page of your sports section every day.

The bulk of Bill Glauber's coverage stressed injuries, sacrifice of gymnast and family, work, time and money spent. There was no applause for self-respect, determination, good sportsmanship and many other qualities that are lacking in most other sports today where brawls break out over a pitch and everyone strikes for even more money. I would like to add that these sports are generally male-dominated sports. Also, baseball, basketball and football have injuries, sacrifices and money problems, too.

The one difference in gymnastics is the result of your time and money. Gymnasts do not train for fame, money and TV commercials. They train for love of the sport, knowing that the chances of their receiving any of those things are slim, and even if they get famous, it won't last long in a little girls sport.

The front-page article about Bela Karolyi was an embarrassment to our state. Comments by bitter gymnasts and parents should not have been given such credibility. I was a gymnast. I did not make it. I do not blame my coach. I don't blame anybody because there is no blame to place. I had a wonderful time taking part in the sport. I have nothing but respect for coaches and my parents for letting me take part. We should be proud that Karolyi came to our country. We looked like fools in international competition before he defected. Any coach or gymnast would give anything to work with the man.

Sharon Stritehoff


Get rid of Miller

I think now is the time for the Orioles to send Jon Miller packing. This man plays too much on the air. He gets talking about things that happened tons of years ago. He should be calling balls and strikes and not trying to manage the team from the booth.

Let him join ESPN. We need someone to call the game that is being played at hand.

When he is doing the game on TV, I go to the radio. When he is doing the game on the radio, I go to bed.

!Clarence J. Miller Sr.

Lothian The June 27 CBS baseball telecast looked slightly better than that of the previous Saturday, but still rated only a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. So, will CBS ever challenge the boast of ABC as leader in television sports?

Baseball telecasts have been dominated too long by artists who put out dull baseball productions.

Recently, Sun columnist Ray Frager revealed a common reason for poor quality baseball on TV, quoting an ESPN executive, "We capture the nuances." Which is a cute way of saying, "If it weren't for extreme close-up portrait posters of players, we wouldn't know what else to do." A poor excuse for pathetic baseball telecasts.

The priority of baseball telecasts, rather than silly "nuances," is the big picture, matching what the spectator in the stands gets to see. Why do TV crews resist getting the "big picture" on TV screens? Mostly because the kids in the shorts, ponytails and earrings have an infatuation with adult toys.

They just have to fidget incessantly with zooming in, together with restless switching of cameras at control desks. They just can't let a static scene remain for long on the screen so the viewer can recognize and enjoy the action taking place. The artists just have to break up all action into rapid-fire bits and pieces. The artistic touch, they tell us. Of course, it's different when they put a long-holding close-up on the screen, holding it so long that it becomes utterly monotonous. Big-time TV run by small-time novices.

C.W. Edwards


Ripken made to break record

Cal Ripken will be playing ball, here or elsewhere, in quest of breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games streak. After all, records are made to be broken, and the immortal Lou would like that.

#Joseph Thaddeus Kasprzak


Stop complaining

Since the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, columnist John Steadman has done nothing but complain about the stadium. Though such criticisms might be valid, Steadman goes overboard in his attempts to find fault with Oriole Park.

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