April 08, 2006

Maese is off base in UM comparison

I have had a high opinion of Rick Maese's work since he began with The Sun. After reading Thursday's column ["To avoid men's blueprint, Frese will build off title"], I now wonder if Peter Schmuck is really kidding when he speaks about Mr. Maese's youth and inexperience.

Maese says Brenda Frese would be wise not to follow the blueprint "scripted by the school's men's program after it won the national championship in 2002."

Sounds like something disgruntled fans of the men's team would eat up, doesn't it? Just down a few words and move on to the next column, right? Wrong. Your readers still deserve valid supporting facts.

Mr. Maese offers only three parts to this "blueprint." First, don't win the national championship with a senior-dominated team because it will be hard to repeat.

Doesn't the end justify the means in this situation? Are we supposed to be upset that the men won a national title? Is Gary Williams any smarter if he had won with the 2000-01 team that went to the Final Four and then returned four starters?

Maese's second point that "Williams' program was never poised to attract a larger audience to the game" is obvious, but not as obvious as the fact that this is nothing to hold against Williams. There is no comparison between the men's and women's games when it comes to popularity.

Brenda Frese finds herself in a very unique position being able to help bring the relatively unpopular women's game to national prominence. Are we to hold this against Williams?

The only point by Mr. Maese that deserves consideration is that Williams does not recruit as hard as Frese. That may or may not be true. I rely on The Sun for most of my sports news and if Mr. Maese says its true then ... . well, I'll have to think about it now.

The only blueprint that was in Thursday's edition was this prefabricated, fill-in-the-blanks, "say anything bad about Williams and the readers will eat it up" column by Mr. Maese. The people of Baltimore deserve much better.

Mike Lavin


Orioles mishandle Hendricks situation

My heart goes out to Elrod Hendricks' family for the shameful treatment of Hendricks last year and again Monday by the Orioles, after he had devoted so many years to the organization.

On Opening Day, the Orioles had an opportunity to make up for some of that, but as they seem to do more and more in recent years, they chose to pass up on that opportunity. Instead of retiring Hendricks' number, which would have been the right thing to do, they mouthed some meaningless, hollow words of praise and let it go at that.

They should have apologized for their mistreatment of him, begged the Hendricks family for forgiveness and promised to honor Elrod in the special way that he deserved and had earned.

As an Orioles fan, I'm embarrassed by this organization's handling of this matter.

Ron Parsons


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