Divisive columnistWell, here we go again. Ken Rosenthal...

LETTERS

June 28, 1998

Divisive columnist

Well, here we go again. Ken Rosenthal says a house divided cannot stand. Well, it seems to me he's doing his best to divide it.

First, the article about Davey Johnson. Of course, no offense intended to Ray Miller, but Johnson well I guess he's a Billy Martin -- a professional winner and personal loser. But, Rosenthal, true to form, only emphasizes the good.

Fans with a memory might remember the words of Earl Weaver and others who said that at most a manager is really worth five to seven wins a season. OK, I'll give the O's an extra four wins and credit them to Johnson. We're still bad. And even with Dave the Great, we didn't get to the World Series. And he still couldn't heal the injured.

Next, Rosenthal gives us the Bonilla/Wells harangue again. I still think they were bad deals and Peter Angelos was right to veto. But that's history -- move on, Ken.

Third, he defends the failure to sign Rod Beck. How come when Pat Gillick screws up it's logic, but if Angelos makes a decision, it's meddling and dividing the house? Though I don't know who made the decision to protect Rafael Palmeiro, Rosenthal has always defended the first baseman who rarely knocks in clutch runs and disappears in the playoffs.

Fourth, the potential trade of Roberto Alomar for Carlos Baerga. Excuse me, Mr. Gillick, but this is a no-brainer. I'm not giving up a proven superstar for a player Cleveland couldn't wait to get rid of. And if Angelos had the good sense to just say "no" to such a ridiculous deal, then I say thank you. Keep Alomar.

Finally, wake up, Ken Rosenthal. Differing opinions are dealt with every day in business. And the CEO usually makes the final call on major business decisions. Skyrocketing salaries and free agency have made baseball a business. And the bucks stops on Angelos' desk. Disagreement is not division. Check your math!

Sheldon K. Caplis

Baltimore Since when is Sun sports columnist Ken Rosenthal more knowledgeable in baseball than team owners, general managers and managers? I am answering and refuting his June 17 editorial calling for an end to Cal Ripken's consecutive games streak.

Cal is not only a role model for sports-minded children but also for any working man and/or woman. He is obsessed with playing every day and doing the job he is paid to do without resting on his laurels.

This uninformed so-called sports expert (Rosenthal) thinks ending the streak will turn the 1998 losing Orioles into a winner. I didn't realize Cal pitches 162 games per season or that he leads all active third basemen in errors (two errors in 1998).

Cal has earned the right -- playing through injuries on the field as well as his community activities and his generosity off the field -- to determine when the streak will end, not because some sports columnist has an anti-Cal agenda.

Your writing skills have diminished over the years and not this man who is an annual leading vote-getter for baseball's All-Star Game. Maybe you'd like to try doing Ripken's job or, still better, your employer should sit you down.

Harry I. Kleiman

Dundalk

Long live Ripken's streak

It is inconceivable that Ken Rosenthal could call for the Orioles to bench Cal Ripken. Perhaps Rosenthal has forgotten the moment of Ripken's career that defined his value to the Orioles. It happened in the final game of the 1996 ALCS, after he grounded to shortstop with two outs in the last inning. Ripken sprung from the batter's box and ran -- with a bad back and with "old man's legs" -- as fast as he humanly could to first base, and then he slid headfirst into the bag, in a desperate attempt to avoid the final out. With every stride he took, he froze in time for each of us who cherish the Orioles. He was "The Oriole Way."

He did not beat the throw, but that really did not matter. What mattered was that he refused to give up. He fought every painful inch of the way to first base as he tried to keep the Orioles' World Series hopes alive.

If Ripken never hits above .250 (which, by the way, Mr. Rosenthal, he will) again in his career, it is good enough for me. He is a competitor and a fighter. Moreover, he is a winner. Long live the streak!

Mel Tansill

Catonsville

True colors

It is becoming clearer with every article written by Ken "Jerry Springer" Rosenthal that his true Yankees pinstripes are beginning to shine through. If it's reaction he was hoping for, let me be the first to throw a chair. To put it bluntly, since Rosenthal has "lost a step" with Orioles fans, perhaps he should be the one hopping on a "runaway train." He is blatantly devious, as he spews out ill-fated opinions on what should be done to Cal Ripken and the Orioles in general. To quote a New Yorker so Ken will understand, "It ain't over till it's over."

This season is far from over! As for the "Cal-train," it has a destination -- it's called Cooperstown. As for Rosenthal, I know I speak for all Orioles fans in saying, "When that train arrives at the station, you're not invited to the welcoming party!"

Vic Vachon

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