Letters

LETTERS

April 09, 2005

Steele makes no sense regarding black players

David Steele's racially inspired column on Thursday ["Diamonds glitter even less in the black community"] was one of the most illogical pieces of sportswriting I have read in a long time.

He tallies the number of American-born vs. Hispanic-born black players in baseball and calls any disparity in numbers "bad news." Good grief!

Then he lists great black ballplayers from the past and bemoans that fewer are coming up from the youth of the cities.

He cites the lack of "baseball academies" in America as a factor. Did Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson, and others attend academies?

We have the same number of public parks in the city as we did since the turn of the last century. I walked to one every day all summer to play baseball when I was a kid. Sometimes the ball was wrapped with tar tape and the bat was split, but we played.

Steele refers to "the place once owned by American blacks" in baseball. I don't know what that means. Do races stake our claims? Does he want quotas?

Steele says that when black kids look at baseball rosters they say, "Where's me?" I guess Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora don't count because they are Hispanic. What hogwash.

Try applying that illogic to white kids looking at the NBA and saying, "Where's me?" They don't say that. They just play basketball because they want to.

Thomas R. Foster Parkville

O's drop ball by failing to fully honor Thompson

It's disturbing that the Orioles have failed to adequately acknowledge the death of one of the most important men in Baltimore sports history.

The loss of Chuck Thompson is significant, as he was recognized as a unique and gifted talent not only in Baltimore but also nationally.

His talents were as important to the Orioles as any of the great athletes who represented the team on the field. Unfortunately, the Orioles have only seen fit to pay tribute to Mr. Thompson with a brief scoreboard presentation on Opening Day.

His passing should be acknowledged by placing his initials on the team's uniform sleeve this year, or, at a minimum, a black armband should be worn.

When Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray died in 1998, the Chicago Cubs noted his passing by wearing a patch with a caricature of him on their sleeves.

When the great St. Louis Cardinals announcer Jack Buck died in 2002, the team wore his initials on its uniforms.

Why have the Orioles failed to honor Chuck Thompson in a similar fashion?

Will Shoken Baltimore

Rose's mistakes pale next to steroid users'

Now that the baseball steroid issue has been blown wide-open, we know that owners, league officials and the players association did their best over the years to keep a lid on it.

This scandal is bigger than the 1919 Black Sox throwing the World Series. Out of that came the rule that any gambling in the game would constitute a lifetime ban. We all know that Pete Rose paid that price.

Rose enhanced his baseball abilities with a hard-driving, physically and mentally aggressive style, not by using the "juice." Hence, the nickname "Charlie Hustle."

Baseball will never institute a lifetime ban for steroids or other drug use, not even after a second or third offense, because well-known names such as Barry Bonds could be involved.

Now is the time for Rose to sue baseball for reinstatement and possible induction to the Hall of Fame. Rose made personal bets on games, but steroids are reverberating through the entire hallowed halls of the baseball institution.

All the years of baseball turning a blind eye to steroid use make Rose's betting seem minor.

Bet on baseball, get thrown out. Violate all other rules and laws over and over, get help and rehabilitation and stay in baseball forever.

Gerry T. Deba Owings Mills

In the final analysis, Terps simply not good

Maryland basketball fans were optimistic coming into this year after the Terps' incredible ACC tournament success in 2004. What the fans are now realizing is that the three-game sweep of NCAA-bound teams was a huge anomaly.

John Gilchrist played like Michael Jordan and the team was unbeatable that weekend. If not for Gilchrist, the Terps likely would have been playing in the NIT last year as well.

With each poor performance this season, excuses abounded - "didn't play hard enough" or "lacked focus" or "needed to play more as a team" became the mantra.

The unfortunate reality is that the Terps simply were not very good. There wasn't one consistent outside shooter and no respectable inside game, the defense was poor and the passing was atrocious.

How do these negatives translate to the "pie in the sky" thinking by Gary Williams that the Terps are ready to wreak havoc in the ACC next year?

Morton D. Marcus Baltimore

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