Why did Preston have to belittle Dixon? Mike Preston's...

Letters

July 14, 2002

Why did Preston have to belittle Dixon?

Mike Preston's article concerning Juan Dixon's place in the draft was hard to digest ["Dixon easy to like but hard to digest as 17th-best player," June 18].

Here we have a young man who has conquered a tough beginning and not only made the grade at Maryland, but also was Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, an elite conference, only to be put down by Mr. Preston.

Here was a warm, feel-good story about a young man making his dream come true. Why couldn't Mr. Preston give the young man a chance? He could have written his story next week or next month, but no, he had to shoot down Dixon the day after his biggest moment.

Shame on you, Mr. Preston.

John C. Clarke Sr. Abingdon

Drug admissions cast doubt on records

The recent admission by a retired major-league baseball player that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his career brings into question a number of record-breaking achievements in that sport.

It is now impossible to separate records that have been achieved without resorting to drugs, much less determine what drugs may be regarded as performance-enhancing. With a cloud already over the actions of corporate America, the last thing the public needs is questions about the integrity of its sports heroes.

Nelson Marans Silver Spring

Expanding playoffs would help baseball

Baseball's current playoff format allows only four teams from each league to compete with each other for the right to play in the World Series.

By the time the playoffs begin, participating teams have long since been determined and interest in teams out of the competition has faded accordingly.

Perhaps the leagues should adopt a playoff format similar to the NHL and NBA in which eight teams in each conference contend in playoffs for the right to play in the finals. Many more teams would be in the playoffs and interest throughout the year would be heightened.

James M. Hall Perry Hall

Midsummer Classic is no longer a game

I was a bit confused Tuesday night when the fans at the All-Star Game chanted, "Let Them Play! Let Them Play?" Playing, I thought, had very little to do with what the Midsummer Classic has evolved into.

Game? There never was a game. There was a hyped exhibition of 450-foot jacks the day before. There was a Vegas-style extravaganza before the first pitch. And there was an extended forum for individual showboating and face time after the first pitch.

Prior to ballot-stuffing and cyber-voting fans, there was a time when the players in each league selected the All-Stars. It was a high honor to participate. Few, if anyone, begged out.

The game itself was a battle to witness which league owned bragging rights until the following summer. It was played like a postseason contest.

Now we get hugs and "showing some love" to the opposition.

Let them play? They haven't really played for many years.

Gary A. Rostkowski Parkville

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