As season begins, let's put aside Orioles grudgesWith a...

LETTERS

March 15, 1998

As season begins, let's put aside Orioles grudges

With a new season opening at Camden Yards on March 31, it is time to put aside the acrimony of the 1997 postseason and begin again our march toward a world championship for which Peter G. Angelos has worked since the day he acquired the team.

Much has been made of the fact that Mr. Angelos is a self-made man who started with nothing. That is simply not true.

While his family had few financial resources, their real wealth consisted of a determined commitment to live the American dream, persevering, overcoming adversity and believing in the value of family, church and the community.

When Eli Jacobs put the team on the market several years ago, Mr. Angelos stepped forward and initially was largely ignored by community leaders -- many of whom backed yet another out-of-towner's bid to buy the team.

All of us can take pride in the progress made so far. But some, especially in the sports-writing community, question his right to spend his money as he sees fit. He has been skewered and vilified time and again.

Mr. Angelos has fairly demanded that his players, coaches and management staff be as firmly committed as he is. He has asked for perseverance, commitment, maximum effort and hard work. That is his right.

A new season is under way. A new team, with the second largest payroll in baseball, is taking the field.

This will be the Orioles' year, if the gods of baseball allow.

Helen Delich Bentley

Lutherville

USF&G chairman should be ashamed

Norman P. Blake Jr., chairman and chief executive of USF&G, is embarrassed by the $44 million payout he's likely to get as a result of his company's merger with another insurance giant. May I suggest that he take only $4 million of it and split the rest among the estimated 2,000 employees expected to lose their jobs as part of the deal?

This way, each "downsized" worker would receive $20,000.

He's right to be embarrassed. He is the beneficiary of a system that can only be called obscene.

Howard Bluth

Baltimore

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