December 31, 2005

O's missing funeral is simply shameful

How disgraceful and enraging it was to hear that Melvin Mora was the only current Oriole to attend Elrod Hendricks' funeral on Thursday.

I don't care if it was the holiday season and some players would be inconvenienced by coming to their coach's funeral, but not to come was disrespectful and shameful.

So while you're sitting at home enjoying the holidays with your family, try to imagine how the holidays are for Hendricks' family this year. Way to step up to the plate, guys.

Jeff Ashton


O's give us nothing to get excited about

Am I, a staunch Orioles fan, supposed to be eagerly anticipating this coming season?

The Toronto Blue Jays have made a powerful offseason statement in rebuilding their team and wanting to compete with the other two AL East powerhouses in New York and Boston.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are still playing "little deal," bringing in a player (Jeromy Burnitz) who is on the down side of his career.

Is that supposed to make me excited about the season, where Rodrigo Lopez is projected again as the Opening Day starter? Please.

God forbid, but could this be the season where the dreaded "bag fans" appear at the House of Angelos?

Patrick R. Lynch


With Billick staying, some players must go

The Ravens made the right decision in keeping Brian Billick. If, in fact, he has lost control of the team, there's a simple way to get it back: treat every player, from the highest-paid superstar to the lowest-paid rookie, exactly the same.

In 2006, no players should get special treatment, such as extra lockers, special travel arrangements, going home at night during training camp, etc.

For the players who are no longer receptive to Billick's message, get rid of them, starting with Ray Lewis. Trade him for two or three draft picks that can be used to upgrade the offensive or defensive lines.

A trade would rid the team of a "chemistry" problem. It's time to say goodbye to Lewis.

Ron Holstein

Cub Hill

Veteran QB must push Boller in 2006

Now that it is official that Brian Billick will be returning as Ravens coach, some changes need to be made in other areas.

The Ravens must bring in a veteran quarterback to give Kyle Boller an honest competition for his job. Billick must put his ego aside and admit that Boller may not be the team's future at that position.

If there is a legitimate competition for the quarterback position, it just may make Boller that much better.

Just look what Boller did the past two games when his back was against the wall and his future with the team was in jeopardy. With a little competition staring at him next year, we could see more games from him like the last two.

Phil Bauer

Bel Air

Mackey deserves help from league, players

I think Rick Maese's column about John Mackey was right on target, but I don't think it goes far enough ["NFL neglect of Mackey belongs in hall of shame", Tuesday].

The NFL is supposed to be like a fraternity or family. In a fraternity or family, each takes care of the other.

Yes, the NFL has a responsibility; John Mackey helped it become a national sport and made the league a lot of money.

I am equally disappointed, however, in today's players. Why aren't they putting more money aside in the NFL disability pool for their aging brothers? They may need the same kind of help when they retire and become infirm.

And let's not forget Baltimore City and maybe even the surrounding counties. John Mackey made a lot of people proud to be a Baltimorean. I have no trouble with some of my tax dollars supporting such a proud man. He deserves all of our help.

John Miller


Why does Preston always bash Billick?

What is Mike Preston's problem? Brian Billick must have refused an interview with this guy at some point in time, which has caused Preston to go on a never-ending mission to get Billick fired. We can smell the sour grapes all over the state.

With Preston, the Billick bashing never seems to end. I believe in unbiased reporting and calling it as you see it, but the mission for Preston is so obvious that you would have to be totally blind to not see that he is trying to get the man fired.

There is a lot of power in the pen, and you should be careful how you use it. There was never a mention of Billick losing his job on TV or in other media until Preston started the fire with some of his biased reporting.

When was the last time Preston ever wrote a positive column? He needs to get off of the pulpit because we are tired of hearing about how bad things are under coach Billick.

Try supporting the home team instead of bashing it and the head coach. It would mean a lot to the readers, the team and the coaching staff.

Rob Brady

Prince Frederick

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