Letters

LETTERS

January 18, 2004

Rose should pay price for breaking the rules

There are three things that threaten the integrity of baseball: greed, performance-enhancing supplements and gambling. It took organized baseball 50 years to take a firm stand on gambling, and Peter Schmuck would dismiss 80 years of firm enforcement with naked numbers ["Though he's far from a saint, Rose deserves a seat on high," Jan. 8].

Rose's crass, career-shattering, bush-league play on Ray Fosse in a meaningless All-Star Game is not what keeps him out of the Hall of Fame.

Gambling keeps him out.

Lying about it does not keep Rose out of the Hall of Fame.

Gambling keeps him out.

To argue that there are two Roses, the player and the man, is absurd. There is one man to a body, and you cannot, as Schmuck contends, strip the numbers from the man.

There may be plenty of unsavory characters in the Hall of Fame, but none flouted what has become its cardinal rule with more audacity, and apparent sense of impunity, than Rose.

Martin Payne St. Michaels

Once again, Rose puts self over the sport

Pete Rose is a loathsome, shameless self-promoter who does not care about the sanctity or integrity of major league baseball. His timing was despicable in that it overshadowed the announcement of the newest Hall of Fame inductees, Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley.

That's Pete, always putting himself above the sport. Molitor and Eckersley have every right to be livid about this latest escapade.

Commissioner Bud Selig should shut the Cooperstown door in Rose's face and deny him entry. There's no room in this sport for snake oil salesmen the likes of him.

Patrick R. Lynch Parkville

Baseball shouldn't change rules for Rose

Pete Rose broke Major League Rule 21, a rule so important that it is "nailed to the clubhouse door at every ballpark in the country."

He agreed to permanent ineligibility. Why now should the rules be changed for him?

If he were not baseball's all-time hits leader, and just an average player, would there be all this debate? He wasn't man enough to follow the rules, wasn't man enough to tell the truth for 14 years, and now it appears he is not man enough to accept his punishment.

Yes, he was a great player, but he made the choice to break the rules, and now he must bear the consequences of his actions. Free will is a powerful tool, but with it must come responsibility.

Cindy L. Sexton Baltimore

Orioles' acquisitions give reason for hope

It has been an encouraging offseason for Orioles watchers with the signings of Miguel Tejada and Co.

However, knowledgeable baseball fans realize that although the offense has become respectable, pitching is what wins divisions and playoff games.

Needless to say, on that front, the Orioles remain lackluster at best. A staff that is currently led by still unproven Sidney Ponson and falls off after that is surely to be pummeled on a regular basis.

Still, what has transpired so far is very encouraging, and if the new front office is as successful in acquiring pitching in the next offseason as it has been in acquiring hitting, the Orioles may very well be on their way to becoming a legitimate contender in the very near future.

Thank you, Peter Angelos, Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan, for finally giving long-suffering Orioles fans a reason to look forward to - and eagerly await - the coming seasons.

Steve Couzantino Pasadena

New Ravens owner should stay hands-off

Alone among my friends, I have refrained from jumping aboard the "Mike Preston has no clue" bandwagon. However, he went too far in his column of Jan. 9 ["Ravens need to coordinate new ideas for passing game"].

Preston wrote that incoming Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti "should force the Ravens to hire a new offensive coordinator or at least a passing coordinator."

In other words, let's hope that Bisciotti immediately becomes Daniel Snyder, assumes that he knows more than Ozzie Newsome and Brian Billick, and undermines the authority of the general manager and coach, tearing apart all semblance of chain of command.

The generally accepted description of the recent Redskins has been "dysfunctional."

Preston is urging a similar course for the Ravens.

Hopefully, Bisciotti will know better.

J. Langbaum Baltimore

Preston is correct about Ravens' offense

Mike Preston's Jan. 9 column about the Ravens' offense summarizes the feelings of every Ravens fan. Enough is enough!

Why do we need to go through yet another season of praying that our defense can score points for us or hoping that some day we can come up with an imaginative offensive play?

There has to be more to an effective passing offense than the jump ball to Todd Heap or Marcus Robinson or the roll-out 5-yard pass. Rather than devising an offensive game play tailored to not making a mistake, perhaps we could create a philosophy for the 2004 season that urges the offense to go out and win the games.

I love Brian Billick as a head coach, but, as Preston points out, he is the problem with the offense, not offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh. The new owner should take Billick aside and say, "Put together a team and a game plan that score points."

Bob Bruchey Annapolis

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