It's not fair to hit Belle when he's down I don't know...


March 11, 2001

It's not fair to hit Belle when he's down

I don't know if Orioles fans will be having a parade when Albert Belle announces his unfortunate retirement, but I know I'll organize a parade when Sun columnist John Eisenberg gets arthritis and can't type anymore. If he thinks Belle has no class, Belle is outdone by the depths of derision demonstrated by Eisenberg.

To state that the Orioles will have a good year even if they don't win just because Belle is gone is not only callous, mean, and insensitive, it's plain old nasty.

This isn't the first time Eisenberg has been way off base. He regularly writes in the negative. To imply that Belle was responsible single-handedly for the terrible status of the Orioles the past three years is clearly unfair, inaccurate, brain-dead, and does not bring a recollection of several of his other nasty articles about Peter Angelos, Syd Thrift, Ray Miller, etc.

Belle was paid to produce on the field. His records rival several others who ended their career or shortened it by injury. How often do you hear about Ty Cobb in the negative? He was no fan favorite, either. To go on and on about his past indiscretions does nothing to affect what is in the record books.

Nathan Fletcher Baltimore

With boorish behavior, Belle's no Hall of Famer

In his March 4 article updating Albert Belle's medical status, Joe Strauss wonders that if the injury turns out to be career-ending, whether Belle already has the batting average, home runs, RBIs, etc., needed for induction into Baseball's Hall of Fame.

Given Belle's behavior toward the fans, media and, most importantly, the sportswriters, his chances of being elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame are about as good as Bill Clinton's chances of being elected to the College of Cardinals.

Leon Reinstein Baltimore

To ex-Ravens QB Dilfer, thanks for the memories

Thank you, Trent Dilfer, for your part in the Ravens' season to remember. Thank you for preparing each day in practice early in the season, not knowing if you would ever see the field.

Thank you for tucking the ball under your arm and diving headfirst to keep the drive alive. Thanks you for ending our 21-quarter touchdown-less streak.

Thank you for handing the Tennessee Titans their first loss on their home field. Thank you for shedding tears on national television after that victory and showing the city of Baltimore how much snatching victory from the jaws of defeat meant to you.

Thank you for returning to the game after absorbing several bone-rattling hits during the playoffs. Thank you for the 11 straight victories. Thank you for making the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champions.

Greg Szczepaniak Baltimore

ACC announcers lacking in objectivity

Being an avid Maryland basketball fan, I realize that the excitement the Terps stir in me is the result of the high caliber of competition they face in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC over the years has been among the best conferences in the country. That in no small part is due to teams like Maryland, Virginia, Clemson, etc. But, as we all know, most of the credit goes to the four teams from North Carolina, most recently North Carolina and Duke.

But just once, I'd like to watch a game involving the two teams from that state without hearing the sycophantic drivel spewing out of the mouths of the game announcers, in particular Billy Packer.

For many years I have listened to Packer coo and gush over the most mundane play made by the chosen ones - and lament any misfortune that befalls them.

Case in point: the Maryland-Duke game of Feb. 27. As Maryland took command in the waning minutes, Packer moaned about Duke's tired legs - "That Wake Forest game took a lot out of Duke" - but that had nothing to do with the opposing team taking Duke's best shot (on Senior Night, with coach Mike Krzyzewski at his scowling and spitting best), and putting the Blue Devils away.

Duke and North Carolina are great teams, no doubt. But how about a little credit where it is due, Billy?

I haven't seen such homerism since Bones ("Haw-haw, anybody but Maryland") McKinney was drawling into the mike. Hey, Raycom, how about it - for the love of Lefty - cut us some slack, and hire objective professionals.

Harold Wicklund Annapolis

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