Baseball strike can be settled by hostile fansThe notion...

the Forum

August 11, 1994

Baseball strike can be settled by hostile fans

The notion that a conflict between 700 major league baseball players (average salary $1.2 million yearly) and 28 team owners (average salary unknown) constitutes some kind of "labor dispute" shows just how debased the English language has become.

These players and owners are an infinitesimal fraction of the American population and sit apart from it on an island of privilege and concentrated wealth.

Their business, as Dickens once wrote of the British Parliament, is strictly with one another, and has little to do with the problems of real working people, who can hardly afford to attend a major league game anymore.

In the long run there is nothing that will bring major league players and owners to their senses other than a collective act of rejection by the majority of America's baseball fans who could -- if they would -- find satisfying substitutes at minor league and amateur contests until sanity prevails at the major league level.

Some might even find such games preferable to the high prices, excessive hype and constant electronic distractions which have come to characterize the major league game today.

Admittedly, this is wishful thinking. For the majority of America's baseball fans have long succumbed to the addictive nature of spectator sports and fail to realize that by not exercising their rights and powers of refusal, they are as guilty as players and owners for the predicament in which major league baseball finds itself today.

Howard Bluth

Baltimore

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We don't have to take a back seat to these greedy baseball players who are threatening a strike. Let us have a fan strike.

How long do you think the greedy players can take the field if there is no one in the stands to support them?

We fans have an ace in the hole. Let's use it.

5) I, for one, can find other interests.

Douglas E. Clark

Kingsville

Smoke-filled pols

The time has come for the citizens of Maryland and the rest of the country to stand up to the contemptuous tobacco industry and the politicians it owns.

The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MOSH) regulation that would ban smoking in all Maryland workplaces was put on hold so that another hearing can be held on Aug. 11.

The hearing will allow the big tobacco companies to voice their complaints and desperately try to stop this life-saving regulation.

The only people who would profit from this regulation not going into effect are the tobacco companies and the politicians who benefit from their "contributions."

This is a civil rights issue for non-smokers, who have had to endure the now-proven dangers of second-hand smoke.

It is sad enough that people who smoke are so addicted that they jeopardize themselves and their loved ones, but the public must be protected.

I don't care if a person wants to smoke bananas, just keep it out of my air space.

Michael Barrash

Baltimore

Speak like 'Mimi'

Much has been printed in the past few days about the late Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro's English. But very little has been spoken about the very fine and good human being he was.

Most politicians don't have the foggiest idea how to get jobs for their constituents -- but they promise jobs anyway.

''Mimi'' not only knew how to get jobs, he succeeded famously.

By helping contractors like myself get permits and inspections, business functioned much faster than otherwise possible.

When asked what we could do for him in return, his reply was always the same: "Nuttin' for me, just jobs for my people."

''Mimi'' was a wonderfully decent, honest politician. It's a shame there are not more like him. All politicians should learn how to ''speak'' like ''Mimi.''

William F. Almquist

Randallstown

Race tracks

It's getting near that time of the year when Timonium conducts its 10-day horse racing meet. Last year it lost money, and there is not a doubt in my mind that it will lose money again this year.

To begin with, parking is deplorable, and on a hot, humid day fans are uncomfortable because air conditioning is limited.

Maryland racing fans are into simulcasting. Timonium offers none.

What is happening is that many fans are traveling to Charlestown or Delaware Park, where simulcasting, ample parking and air conditioning are available.

The board of directors of Timonium Race Course should work out an agreement with Pimlico and Laurel, and move their dates to Pimlico.

The longer the wait the less bargaining power they will have, because they will continue to lose money.

Albert Antonelli

Baltimore

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