Fans, strike backRegardless of which side you are on, the...

LETTERS

August 21, 1994

Fans, strike back

Regardless of which side you are on, the real losers in the baseball strike are you and me, the fans. I am sitting here looking at 61 useless Oriole tickets that were to be used by myself, family and friends over the course of the rest of the season.

I just saw on TV the procedure for getting my money back -- mailing them back to the Orioles is one of the options. Fellow fans, that's exactly what I intend to do -- in 61 envelopes. Yes, it will cost me around $20 to do this; however, it will make me feel immensely better. There are more than 1 million tickets out there. I would like to ask each one of you who hold multiple tickets to join me in my little protest. Maybe a million letters to open, a million checks to write and a million envelopes to put postage on will wind someone's clock!

Frank H. Parker

Severna Park

Don't pick on small markets

As a lifelong baseball fan I am as distraught as anybody over the current strike. However, I feel compelled to comment on a pervasive attitude among the Orioles' owner, fans and media: that is to blame the strike on the "small-market" teams and offer solutions like "build a Camden Yards in every city," or "just pack up and move the franchise to a baseball-starved town."

I don't expect Ken Rosenthal or Peter Angelos or that segment of selfish O's fans to recognize the importance that the heritage of baseball has on the game. So, I can only hope they get what they're asking for: A $200 million "old-time" park in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and two in New York and, oh yeah, one in Washington to field the Brewers.

Then Angelos, a "small-market" owner (yes, Baltimore, this is a smaller TV market than "poster-child" Pittsburgh), will be crying for a cap and revenue sharing with his fan base cut in half, the novelty of Camden Yards worn off and the baseball fans of Pittsburgh, Philly, New York and Washington staying home at their "own Camden Yards."

Meanwhile, the true O's fan will be fighting to keep his beloved ballclub.

Joe Cirelli

Owings Mills Between the endless assault of media coverage and incensed fan reaction, you would think the baseball strike was a tragedy of epic proportions. Who cares?

I, for one, am bordering on ecstasy. I couldn't care less how much money a ballplayer makes or which owner is languishing in financial ruin. It's the sport of baseball and how it's being played that has exasperated my patience and left me indifferent.

When you have several players projected to hit more than 50 homers, drive in 140 runs, rattle 60 doubles and sustain batting averages over .350, you begin to realize how ludicrous it's gotten. When every pitching staff in the American League has an ERA of over 4.00 and the strike zone has deteriorated to the extent that the umpires are terrified to call anything above the belt, you start to long for your childhood days of Brooks, Frank and Boog.

The real tragedy isn't the irresolute attitudes of Donald Fehr and Richard Ravitch. It's that every kid out there following baseball has no reference point to understand what balance in a sport means.

Instead of squabbling over money, something should be done to address what's happened to the sport. In the meantime, I embrace the reprieve from this farce. Thank you. Hallelujah! Ain't the beer cold!

Dana James Sclafani

Edgewood

Send a message

I feel that Bernard H. White's letter of Aug. 14 took the words right out of my typewriter. I was going to make the same two suggestions that he made. The only way to assure that there will never be another baseball strike is for the fans to send the owners the only kind of message that they will understand.

The idea most frequently suggested is that the fans should stay away from the games (and not watch them on TV) after the strike. However, the vast majority of fans will continue to go to and watch the games (and they should if they like baseball). This is why the two ideas proposed by Mr. White are better. We should all continue to go to the games if we want to. However, we should never buy any food or beverages sold inside any major-league ball park. Their prices are absurd.

I have attended approximately 20 Orioles games the past two years and never bought anything at the ballpark. I never will unless the prices are reduced to reasonable levels. Perhaps with the strike, others will join me in this protest.

Mr. White's second idea of continuing to watch the games on TV but boycotting the sponsors is also right on target. This should be done for all products except those for which you already have a clear preference and would strongly prefer to not do without. This is far superior to simply refusing to watch the games because we will have the opportunity to enjoy the games and reduce the owners' profits at the same time.

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