July 18, 2004

O's trade of DeCinces might be worst of all

In The Sun's list concerning good and bad trades made by the Orioles over the years ["O's best and worst deals", July 9], I think you missed what I have always considered the worst of all.

After the 1981 season, the Orioles traded away Doug DeCinces, their third baseman who had succeeded Brooks Robinson. He was a fine third baseman and had several good years in baseball after the trade, hitting a lot of home runs and fielding well. And the Orioles never did find a decent third baseman to replace him.

In 1982, the Orioles came into the last four games of the season three games behind Milwaukee in the American League East, with a four-game series against the Brewers to end the season. The Orioles won the first three to tie Milwaukee but lost the last game and missed the playoffs.

At that time, I knew Jack Dunn and other Orioles officials, and we often discussed the DeCinces trade. They agreed on two things: First, the Orioles traded DeCinces because he had a chronic bad back and thought he was through as a player. Second, if they had not traded him, the Orioles surely would have won the division and maybe the World Series in 1982.

Stewart H. McLean Baltimore

Proven pitching staff would help Mazzilli

Have pity on Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. He was supplied with a ragtag, largely novice pitching staff.

Very few fans are surprised that Sidney Ponson is not producing as the staff ace. Changing pitching coaches was like changing the driver for a car with a blown engine.

Provide the Orioles with pitchers of proven quality and watch them soar. Then watch Mazzilli become Manager of the Year.

Dave Highfield Westminster

Baltimore, Washington both deserve baseball

It is incongruous that while Baltimore and Washington are able to support two football teams, with each having a metropolitan population of more than 2 million, the moguls who control baseball have not seen fit to give each city a team.

Baseball fans should not be forced, despite Peter Angelos' objections, to travel 40 miles to see their favorite team on a regular basis, particularly when night baseball is the norm.

Washington in the past has lost two baseball teams based on the greed of its owners.

The time is long since past when our nation's capital should be deprived of its own team.

Nelson Marans Silver Spring

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