Ticket policy sounds familiarIt is with some amusement...


April 04, 1999

Ticket policy sounds familiar

It is with some amusement that I heard some commentators complain about Fidel Castro's policy of distributing tickets to the Orioles-Cuba exhibition game by invitation only, thus depriving the average Cuban baseball fan of attending the game. Apparently, those who were offended by the policy are laboring under the misapprehension that tickets are distributed in a more democratic manner here in Baltimore.

Anyone who has had the good fortune to attend an Opening Day, All-Star or playoff game at Camden Yards will tell you that the assemblage at such events is disproportionately composed of the Washington "Chablis and suspenders" crowd. The average Baltimore fan who contributes to the Orioles' continuous regular-season sellouts has no chance of getting decent seats to one of those games.

The Orioles have long made a practice of reserving seats to these special games for the corporate and political elite who generally have no allegiance to the Orioles, Baltimore or even the game of baseball. To these "fans," the game is nothing more than a prime opportunity for networking.

In an effort to explain the uncharacteristically quite crowd at Latin American Stadium, The Sun reported that "government officials and business owners had scarfed up almost every ticket."

Sound familiar?

John J. Thomas, Lutherville

Ignorance of Cuba cited

Last week's letter from John R. Baerwald Jr., to whom I concede a certain degree of education since he identified himself as a Marine, reflects the rampant ignorance and lack of interest of the average American regarding matters of Cuba. This is why it is not surprising to me that after two years as a security guard in Havana, he never learned that "have" is translated as "hay" and not "aye" as he asserts.

The writer accuses the president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, of "depriving his people of the basic enjoyments of life." Many people, myself included, believe that the real enjoyments of life are free education, free health care and free housing, which Castro has conquered even facing close to four decades of economic blockage from the so-called free world.

As to seeing El Commandante "puffing on a cigar" the date of the game, President Castro gave up on his beloved and only pleasure many, many years ago, precisely due to the economic situation on our sister nation of Cuba.

Julio C. Novoa, Perry Hall

Terps always disappoint

Being a Maryland basketball fan is like rooting for golfer Greg Norman. On occasion it appears things are going well, but in the end, you can count on being thoroughly disappointed.

Maryland now competes with the best, but is this enough? While coach Gary Williams believes a trip to the Sweet 16 is a tremendous accomplishment, his stiffest competition (Duke and North Carolina) considers the Sweet 16 just one brief stop on the way to a much larger goal, a national championship.

Williams' inability to alter his game plan against more athletic teams, make players better from their first to last year (re: Exree Hipp, Duane Simpkins, Laron Profit), and, most importantly, convince those who play and coach for him that they belong among the elite programs in the country, will always result in disappointment for fans come March.

Dan Cahill, Lutherville

Thanks, Cal Sr., for memories

I stood in line for 1 hour, 20 minutes before paying my respects to Cal Ripken Sr., and every minute felt like a privilege.

I was surrounded by some of Cal's neighbors and many of his friends and co-workers, and everyone considered it a privilege just as I did. As Cal would say, "That's the O's way."

Inside the funeral home, the family couldn't have been more receptive. They greeted every single person with a stiff upper lip and a big, grateful thank you for coming.

I just want to say, Cal, thanks for the memories.

Maryann Pastore, Baltimore

Pub Date: 4/04/99

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