Thanks to Ripken for being a class act Just a few lines...

LETTERS

October 07, 2001

Thanks to Ripken for being a class act

Just a few lines to express my gratitude to Cal Ripken for all that he's done for baseball, its fans and the citizens of Baltimore and Maryland. Cal has been a class act throughout his entire career and has demonstrated that class on and off the field.

I can't think of a greater tribute to pay to Cal than to say that he's in the same class as our old hero, Brooks Robinson. They've both been the very best role models for kids that any sport could provide.

Good luck, Cal, in all your future endeavors. You've earned the chance to spend some time with your family. We'll never forget you.

Ron Parsons Glen Burnie

All `Ripkened out' by retirement hype

This may seem to be an unholy statement, but quite frankly, I'm all "Ripkened out." I say it is something akin to the Elvis over-worship.

Even though I have been an Orioles fan since 1955, and an admirer of Ripken's Iron Man feat, I have to say that the focus has been too much on one man, while the team itself has deteriorated into a laughingstock of the major leagues.

When Cal was to play out the rest of the season as a part-time player, the Orioles were at .500, but when he announced he would retire and came back into the lineup on a daily basis, the team took a one-way trip to Palookaville.

John A. Malagrin Baltimore

Why did Ravens send R. Lewis to New York?

I am appalled that the Ravens saw fit to send Ray Lewis - flee-the-scene, dump-the-bloody-clothes, stonewall-the-cops Ray Lewis - to New York to greet the courageous policemen, firefighters and rescue workers working at the World Trade Center site.

That the Modells and Brian Billick could not see the inappropriateness of his visit shows astonishing insensitivity and arrogance.

Although Baltimore, with its Super Bowl trophy, may be uncommonly willing to forgive and forget, New York and the nation have every right to be insulted at this hypocrisy.

Surely, the Ravens have better ambassadors.

Elaine Ryan Baltimore

Preston's potshots tarnish a generation

On Sept. 27, Sun columnist Mike Preston wrote an editorial about the University of Maryland lacrosse players ("Who told players they can run show?"). As much as I do not agree with their decision to protest the hiring of their new coach, I think Preston showed immaturity in his article.

"A generation of bad haircuts, multiple earrings and farcical song lyrics was trying to pull a power play. It's time for Yow to teach them one of life's lessons that you're supposed to learn in college: Be quiet and play ball. ...

"They were from rich, preppy families and extremely outspoken. When [Gary] Gait or [Dave] Slafkosky didn't get hired, the snooty bunch pouted again."

Those comments totally label a generation that will lead this country in a few years.

Yes, Preston is a columnist, entitled to his opinion, because that is what he is paid for. But at least he should try to not to be so judgmental.

Doesn't Preston remember when he was a teen-ager (and let's not forget, that's what these kids are). Remember the fashions? I'm sure he's not proud of those.

Joe Polek Freeport, Maine

Gait hiring would've been wrong move for Maryland

Mike Preston's column of Sept. 27 was absolutely right on target. A program with the stature of Maryland has no business considering someone as a head coach who has never held a head-coaching position at any other level.

Gary Gait was perhaps the greatest college lacrosse player of all time, but that in no way qualifies him to be the head coach of a major Division I program.

The last thing the university needs is to put someone in a high-profile position for which he is not ready (remember Bob Wade?)

Michael Ritchey Finksburg

Lacrosse players' reaction was appalling

I was delighted to read that Dave Cottle was named coach of the Maryland men's lacrosse team .... until I read of the team's reaction.

The reaction of these children was appalling but not surprising. For years now, a disease has been poisoning lacrosse programs everywhere.

It begins when these boys are 9 and 10 years old. The parents undermine and manipulate rec and school programs, complaining about coaches and officials, demanding that their little superstar get more playing time.

Kids hear the constant criticism, see the unethical stacking of teams .... and now these kids are in college and think that they have the right to determine who should be coaching their team. They'd rather have an untried, untested but flashy sports icon than a successful, experienced, intelligent Division I coach.

In Cottle, Maryland players get the benefit of 20 years of coaching experience. They also get a family man, community leader and most important, an incredibly good person to help them achieve their maximum potential as players, as students, and as young men.

Kathryn M. Bojanowski Baltimore

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