Not GrotesqueKAL's depiction of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 15, 1993

Not Grotesque

KAL's depiction of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the front page of the Aug. 8 Perspective section is, to quote Shakespeare, "Savage, extreme, rude, cruel . . ." She would not win a beauty contest but she is not grotesque. She has style, refinement and dignity. Back to the drawing board, please!

Amalie Rothschild

Baltimore

Poetic Justice

The Sun's editorial of Aug. 5 entitled "The Politics of Pain" is an astonishing piece of audacity.

On the eve of assured victory for President Clinton's budget package, The Sun finally faced up to certain facts. One fact is that federal spending will increase, not decrease, thanks to base-line budgeting. Where, I ask, is the pain in that?

While The Sun persists in the Orwellian deception of referring to it as a "deficit reduction package," there is now acknowledgment that the national debt will rise by $1 trillion. Is this deficit reduction? If Mr. Clinton were really "doing his job and taking stands," as The Sun claims, he would have given us genuine spending cuts instead of mere reductions in spending increases.

Despite your cynicism, the economic health of the nation is important to Republicans.

Even though its passage will guarantee rich political gains for the GOP in the off-year elections, the Republican leadership waged a valiant campaign against this budget.

While GOP opposition is well-defined, the situation this year is really no different from past budget battles. Uncontrolled deficit spending, even during the "go-go 1980s," has always been the making of the Democratic social spendthrifts who make up the majority in both houses of Congress.

The 1990 tax hike was responsible for our most recent recession. When the economy slips back into recession as a result of Mr. Clinton's unnecessary new taxes and public hostility heats up toward Congress and base-line budgeting, many of the culprits, such as Maryland Sen. Paul Sarbanes, will find themselves joining the legion of unemployed that they created. Talk about poetic justice.

Sebastian B. Zito Jr.

Timonium

Camden Yards

Now that Eli Jacobs has sold the Orioles for the record-breaking price of $173 million, I have a humbly offered suggestion.

I would like to rename the new stadium which we all paid for and which clearly played an important role in attracting the profits which are now digging Mr. Jacobs out of bankruptcy.

I would like to rename the stadium simply Camden Yards. I've never liked the cheesy combination name Orioles Park at Camden Yards. That name is a distraction and an artifice arrived at when Mr. Jacobs refused to allow the governor of the state which paid for the stadium to name it.

Camden Yards sounds like the classic ballpark it is. Last month, when the world watched the All-Star Game, most of the references I caught were to the truncated name. In my mind this is not simply because the full name is ungainly, but because Camden Yards has the feel of baseball tradition embodied in the All-Star Game.

Eli Jacobs has paid for his hubris in the financial world. Now I feel we should have the right to correct the results of his hubris in the baseball world. "Camden Yards" says it all.

Charles Glatt

Baltimore

Sports Monopoly

I was heartened to see Dan Bowers' Aug. 2 letter calling for public ownership of professional sports teams, an idea I have long supported. Let me add an economic rationale to his proposal.

It is commonly thought that professional sports leagues, such as major league baseball, constitute a well functioning free market.

There are 28 teams, the reasoning goes, each of which seeks success on the field, so there will be ample competition for the best players. The market will distribute the pool of athletic talent around the leagues, and if this results in superstars earning astronomical incomes, then so be it; the market bears their salaries.

This line of reasoning, however, ignores the fact that, within each city, sports franchises constitute a monopoly.

If the Orioles play poorly one year, do fans head for BWI, fly to other cities and cheer for different teams? Of course not; fans stay true out of loyalty -- and the fact that their team is the only game in town.

With monopoly power, franchises can simply raise ticket prices to ensure that they can bid for the best talent without digging too deeply into the owners' pockets.

Meanwhile, the middle class gets priced out of the ballpark. If the public owned professional sports teams (or at least regulated them like other monopolies) and enforced reasonable salary caps on players (who will not, I am confident, quit in disgust to take regular jobs), sporting events will return to their original function: accessible entertainment for all.

As it is, when Peter Angelos raises ticket prices to recoup his $173 million, corporations and yuppies at Camden Yards will further tranquilize the middle class enthusiasm that rocked Memorial Stadium.

Chase J. Sanders

Towson

Courage

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