Washington wants a baseball franchise it can call its...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 09, 2002

Washington wants a baseball franchise it can call its own

Having read The Sun's laughable editorial "Baseball in D.C.? We don't think so" (Feb. 4), I have to ask: Just who are you to decide for residents of Washington and Northern Virginia that the Orioles are more than enough for the entire area?

Who are you to make sweeping, bombastic, self-serving statements such as "Frankly, all the advocates of D.C. baseball are off base?" And what leads you to believe that the Orioles are "capable of being competitive on the field" against anyone other than the Rochester Red Wings?

Maybe, just maybe, Washington residents prefer a team with decent management and a sensible owner. Maybe we don't want to drive 50 miles or 60 miles to see a team whose playoff hopes are dashed by Aug. 1 or earlier.

Or maybe, just maybe, we might prefer National League baseball, seeing baseball as it should be played, with no designated hitter rule. In any case, it's not The Sun's place to tell us what we should and shouldn't have.

A team in Washington or Northern Virginia isn't going to hurt the Orioles any more than the Phillies being right up Interstate 95 does, or than the Ravens hurt the Redskins.

And I can only imagine The Sun's outrage if a Washington paper had lobbied against the Ravens moving to your city stressing how the Redskins were "plenty capable of serving this entire area's football cravings."

Rick Nerwin

Washington

I grew up in the Washington suburbs, and spent my boyhood without a baseball team. Whenever I wanted to see a game, I had to go to Baltimore.

I also grew up a Redskins fan, and remember Baltimore fans screaming when the Colts left.

When anybody would say that Baltimore didn't need a new team because the Redskins were so close, Baltimoreans always said that the Redskins were Washington's team and no one wanted any part of them because Baltimore deserved its own team.

Why is it different when Washingtonians want their own baseball team?

Marc A. Meisler

Baltimore

The president's budget sets the right priorities

I support President Bush's budget. It's not perfect, but it's better than the budgets we've had for a long time ("Defense is cornerstone of Bush's budget plan," Feb. 5).

Mr. Bush's budget restrains government spending by funding priorities, while holding government accountable.

If this budget passes, it will increase our security, increase support for health, education, the environment and Social Security - and bring us back to budget surpluses quickly, if Congress can restrain itself from overspending.

Sharon Cathey

Hampstead

Leaders haven't listened to concerns about MSPAP

The Maryland State Department of Education's reaction to the latest MSPAP scores underscores the folly of its function ("Test scores stump officials," Jan. 30).

One of the most heralded virtues of MSPAP is its emphasis on cooperation. A fundamental precept of successful and effective cooperation is the ability to listen.

But apparently the value of listening does not apply to State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick and the Department of Education, which not only ignored repeated warnings of significant weaknesses, flaws and concerns regarding the MSPAP, but countered criticism with its own public relations campaign to prop up the test.

If Ms. Grasmick and Department of Education had listened, they might have learned something. However, because they did not listen, nothing was learned.

Walter Mars

Kingsville

The writer teaches in Baltimore's public schools.

Why do falling test scores in suburbs prompt outrage?

When test scores are in the basement in Baltimore City, the students are somehow implicated. When test scores drop a fraction in wealthy suburbs, the tests are suddenly perceived as flawed ("Test scores stump officials," Jan. 30).

What does that say about us as a society?

Barbara M. Simon

Baltimore

End of `Bergerisms' means fewer smiles

I have missed "Bergerisms" on the Opinion

Commentary page, but somehow missed the news that they were gone forever ("Losing `Bergerisms' makes The Sun shine less brightly," letters, Jan. 30).

Say it isn't so: There are so few items that bring a smile.

It's sad to think that we won't be able to start our day with those pungent observations.

Velva Grebe

Lutherville

Denying a vote to ex-felons limits the nation's capacity

Dan Rodricks advocates restoration of voting rights to felons affected by Maryland law ("Life sentence without a vote unfair to ex-felons," Jan. 23). Opponents say that felons will not be responsible voters. Obviously, their definition of a felon (i.e., as one who is inherently evil) is archaic.

Historically, race, economic and social class, religion, sex and literacy have been used to exclude political participation. We should be beyond such bigotry.

Yet it appears that we are not. Errant minority young adults are predominantly drafted from the lower classes to support our giant prison-industrial complex (we have 25 percent of the world's prisoners but 5 percent of the world's population).

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