Who'll miss these umps?It was the intention of the umpires...

Letters

August 01, 1999

Who'll miss these umps?

It was the intention of the umpires to walk off the job before the end of the season. It was their hope that this action would get the commissioner's office to succumb to their desires. As a fan, consider the following:

Will we miss umpires who:

Bait players into heated arguments like the Roberto Alomar incident?

Call phantom outs at second base during a double play?

Change the strike zone on a daily basis?

Reject directives from the league to improve the game?

Aren't in shape to perform their jobs?

Feel that they are immune from penalties from the league office?

I'm quite sure most fans would answer no to all of these questions. Would we, however, notice a change in the umpiring? Yes, it will probably get better.

Brett M. Smith, Parkville

Mussina column ill-timed

John Eisenberg's column on July 25 regarding Mike Mussina was ill-timed and inappropriate. The Orioles have major decisions to make and implement that will affect the future of the team. Yes, Mike Mussina needs to be taken care of, but he also signed a contract, a situation that can be pro/con for both player and club.

But why would Eisenberg pick now to raise another controversial issue, when the Orioles have several to currently handle? Why does The Sun through Eisenberg and other media types typically stir up these situations? Is this how newspapers are sold today?

I would like to think that the Orioles have a strategy, and within that strategy will be accommodations for Mussina's contract. This is not the time to raise this issue.

Warden Bailey, Severna Park

WJZ cheap and stupid

Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! And I'll throw in stupid as well, to describe WJZ-TV, Channel 13, "eliminating" Chris Ely as a sports announcer.

General manager Jay Newman should have fought like heck to keep Ely, but he caved in to an asinine cutback in relieving Ely -- one of the finest announcers I have ever heard -- from the WJZ lineup. Ely brought integrity and an amiable rapport to his audience.

David Boyd, White Hall

Double standard for Belle

Why is it front-page news when Albert Belle breaks a TV or shouts at his manager for being pulled out of a game, yet only a page-5, one-sentence blurb is written when he donates 150 pairs of spikes to a Little League program, buys tickets (and provides transportation) to games for kids and establishes scholarships for kids?

Belle has given to communities here and elsewhere very quietly without seeking the fanfare most sports figures do. His quiet, behind-the-scenes charitable acts are reminders of Eddie Murray and Ted Williams and how they gave their time, energy and resources to and for the kids.

It's refreshing that Belle is not one of those typical athletes who continuously say, "Look how great and fantastic I am."

Joe Neuheimer, Baltimore

Ravens tickets hard to get

I have lived in Baltimore for two years and found that getting single-game Ravens tickets is nearly impossible, especially for the working, middle-class family.

The whole system has turned more into a business than a sport. Ticket prices are outrageous. Unless you are a PSL holder or a subscriber to PSINet, individual game tickets are almost impossible to get unless you go through a ticket broker and spend more than double the face value.

A representative from PSINet told me that if I would join their Internet provider, I would have first chance at single-game tickets. This is absurd, almost discriminatory. I never heard of any football franchise doing something so ridiculous, and for what, a team that is among the worst in the league.

Mark Kissinger, Baltimore

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