October 19, 2003

Forget curse; Cubs weren't better team

A curse didn't cause the Chicago Cubs to lose the National League Championship Series to the Florida Marlins. Nor did the fan who inadvertently interfered with a play.

The Cubs simply weren't the better team over the course of the seven-game series. They have no one to blame for their loss but themselves.

The media should be ashamed of themselves for buying into the notion that a curse exists and for fueling the fire in the vilification of the fan.

Steve Raskin Baltimore

Yankees' AL victory shows power of money

According to salary figures issued by USA Today in May 2003, the New York Yankees spent $153 million on total player payroll in 2003, at least $35 million more than any other baseball team.

The Boston Red Sox spent $100 million and the Orioles $74 million.

While baseball teams that spend the most do not always win championships, experience proves that they win titles a lot more frequently than those who spend less.

It's too bad that baseball refuses to structure competition on an even playing field. The Yankees winning the American League title shows nothing more than the fact that throwing enough money at players can buy you a championship.

Garry Bolan Kingsville

Vecsey hits home run with ALCS columns

In the interest of fairness, Laura Vecsey should be praised for her columns inspired by the recent Yankees-Red Sox American League Championship Series.

Her prose from New York and Boston seemed leaner, cleaner and more muscular than usual.

For several Sundays, letter writers on this page have both fairly and unfairly criticized Vecsey's opinions and writing style. So this Sunday, I say, "Laura, good job."

Bob Feldman Baltimore

Smash-mouth offense effective for Ravens

As I watched the Ravens manhandle the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, I couldn't help but smile.

However, contrary to many, I didn't smile because of Ed Reed's blocked punt for a touchdown or Chris McAlister's interception. I didn't even smile because of the defense's stellar performance. In fact, I smiled because of the play on the other side of the ball.

No, the Ravens don't have a high-powered passing game, or a Fun 'N' Gun like the Washington Redskins, but that doesn't matter.

All that matters is that what the Ravens do, they do well: play smash-mouth football.

Who needs speedy, big-money wide receivers or a finesse running attack when you have one of the best offensive lines in the game and a 240-pound power back with light feet and a vision for the field that is frankly uncanny?

So all you Ravens fans who cry about having a boring offense, stop complaining and start enjoying because right now the team's offense is quite a sight to see.

Simon Landau Baltimore

Antics by McAlister send wrong message

Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister and his teammates need to be reminded that they are being paid to perform their athletic abilities.

McAlister's mockery of his opponents in the Arizona game last week was disgusting and very unsportsmanlike. Is this the type of action he would teach his children?

And how about when he misses a tackle or allows a completed pass? Shouldn't he lie facedown on the turf to apologize for his mistake?

I suggest coach Brian Billick should tell his players that Ravens fans do not approve or appreciate such individual showoffs.

Jack Anderson Ocean Pines

`Crybaby' poor choice of words for Coach K

Mike Preston's column of Oct. 9 ["UM's Williams expects young team to come of age"] must have taken extensive research and even more abundant creativity for him to summarize the Hall of Fame career of the coach of the loyal opposition (Duke) in one of sports' most intense and wonderful rivalries in a single word: "crybaby."

Without the tedious exercise of a side-by-side comparison of the respective credentials of Mike Krzyzewski and Gary Williams, I believe, given the choice, I'm going to have to take Coach Crybaby over Coach Sweaty.

Jeff Koenig Gambrills

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