April 06, 2003

It's same old story with Hairston: pop-ups

Just a few games into the Orioles' season, I have noticed little change in Jerry Hairston's batting. In the first two games, I recorded five pop-ups.

Keep in mind this was in just nine at-bats, where he recorded only two hits. I know it is too early to make a judgment based on statistics, but the signs are evident that Jerry is in love with pitches from the letters up.

He constantly takes first-pitch strikes at the knees or waist, ones that are right down the middle. Given that his job is to get on base, that is the best pitch he will see his whole at-bat.

Being an 18-year-old baseball player, I have been taught all my life that if you put the ball on the ground, anything can happen.

In Jerry's case, by putting the ball in the air five times out of nine, it's a sure out, unless another freak snowstorm arises.

I hope for the team's sake that Hairston will discipline himself at the plate, or else it will be a very rough year in that leadoff spot, one so crucial to a young, talented team.

Scott Smith Baldwin

Preston shouldn't write off O's just yet

Kudos to The Sun sports department for pulling out the stops, including a two-page center spread, on the Orioles' season opener.

The column by Laura Vecsey ["For Orioles, memories won't melt away"] was excellent, painting a fair, realistic picture, weaving in some of our greatest memories. On the other hand, Mike Preston ["Fans' early flight leaves O's with empty-nest syndrome"] chose to go almost totally negative, suggesting how deserted the park will be "after the Orioles are out of contention."

I think that the generally negative tone Mr. Preston practices is not the "Baltimore way." At 1-0, with 161 games remaining, why is he writing off the season?

If he really knows baseball, he would see how things can turn around very fast, as they did for the Anaheim Angels last year.

Harland Williams Baltimore

Pitchers, Segui keep medical staff busy

The most overworked and underappreciated employees in the Orioles' organization are the orthopedic surgeons who have given up their private practices to work exclusively on the team's young pitching prospects.

Kudos must also go out to the team of health workers assigned to David Segui. These dedicated souls are challenged daily to prevent Mr. Segui from being put on the disabled list every time he steps on the baseball field.

Is this a baseball team or an extension of the Mayo Clinic?

Morton D. Marcus Baltimore

NFL snubs Ravens with Monday nighters

The Ravens won the Super Bowl two years ago and were 7-9 last season, just a few plays out of a possible wild-card spot, yet they have zero Monday night games in 2003, while Dallas (5-11) and Chicago (4-12) each have one Monday nighter, with the Bears' being a home game.

San Diego gets one home Monday night game with an 8-8 record last year. Washington, 7-9 last year, gets the Thursday night season opener at home.

This is just another typical sign of NFL favoritism to certain NFL elite teams/coaches.

No one can argue that the Ravens' two prime-time appearances were some of the most exciting football games of the 2002 season.

As far as I am concerned, I do not plan on watching Monday Night Football this year. When John Madden comes on TV -- boom! -- I will turn it off.

Scott Aro Rising Sun

Relief after loss isn't option for Terps

In Laura Vescey's column of March 29 ["Rallying Terps go out with champs' roar, not whimper"], after Maryland's tough loss to Michigan State, she suggested that maybe the Terps "should feel slightly relieved" that they didn't have to move on to play Texas.


Gary Williams and his players must've felt many things after the game. I'm sure relief wasn't one of them.

Jeff Millman Baltimore

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