April 15, 2006

Winning would solve ticket-selling problem

Losing foments disillusionment. Disillusionment creates lack of interest.

This is the most apt way I can describe what I see when the Boston Red Sox come to town and their fans take over Camden Yards.

Let's dissect this further. When the Orioles were fielding winning teams a few years back, it was unusual to see more than a handful of opposing teams' fans at the ballpark.

It's evident to me that many not-so-faithful Orioles season-ticket holders are more interested in putting their coveted tickets on eBay, to be scarfed up by willing Red Sox fans.

How can this be remedied? By owner Peter Angelos being willing to "spend money to make money." It's as simple as that.

If the Orioles were to begin to field a winning team year after year, the season-ticket holders would be more inclined to keep their tickets and attend games.

Mr. Angelos, are you listening?

Patrick R. Lynch


O's show disrespect to Hendricks, Mora

Once again, the alleged biggest name in Maryland sports, Peter Angelos, and his lackey, former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan have dissed two fan favorites in Baltimore: third baseman Melvin Mora and the late former Orioles catcher and bullpen coach, Elrod Hendricks.

Mora is clearly one of the best players at his position, and his off-the-field activities, primarily for the team, are well-noted by the fan base. Yet, he is underpaid compared with other major league third basemen. He wanted a little more than $30 million over three seasons and compromised down to $27 million, yet Mr. Angelos didn't budge from his three-year, $24 million offer.

I guess he doesn't care that there's a good possibility Mora will test the free-agent waters after the 2006 season. Angelos keeps telling us fans, through the local media, how he intends on fielding a competitive team, but Mora is an example of Angelos' all talk and no action.

Hendricks was one of the most beloved Orioles players and coaches ever, yet the team refused to retire his uniform number (44) on Opening Day. Team lackey Flanagan said on WBAL Radio the next night how much he feels hurt by the attitude taken by Hendricks' family.

How would you feel if your boss called you at 10 o'clock at night to tell you that upper management had decided to replace you? This, after 37 years representing the Orioles and Baltimore?

We should demonstrate against Angelos and Flanagan, like we did with late Colts owner Robert Irsay: stuffed figurines in effigy and negative placards at home games until these wrongs are righted.

Or, still better, refuse to patronize Orioles home games. Why put money in Angelos' pocket?

Harry I. Kleiman


O's did right thing with Hendricks

I don't understand all the flap about the Orioles and Elrod Hendricks. No one has provided facts that what the team did was wrong.

The fact is, had the Orioles not reduced his role when he returned from a stroke, he may have died a lot earlier.

The Orioles did the right thing, and let's not forget that they provided him and his family a nice income for many years, and I see no reason to retire his number.

I bet a lot of players would be honored to wear an Orioles uniform with his number, which also keeps Elrod's memory alive in the minds of many fans for years to come.

Roy Ruhe


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