May 27, 2006

Security problems ruined Preakness

I was appalled to see how mismanaged the Preakness was this year.

Because of understaffing, as admitted by an event worker, mob rule reigned outside the admission gates as a chaotic mass of people pushed toward the entrance in a disorganized fashion.

All barriers were unmonitored and completely disregarded as tens of thousands of people pushed their way in front of others who were attempting to wait their turn in line.

Cries of "ridiculous!" were heard a number of times in the nearly three hours I waited to enter the venue in a suffocating crowd of people who simply were not moving forward.

Pimlico has one event each year to manage correctly, and this year the track completely blew it. It was frustrating to pay the ticket price and want to leave before actually getting in the door.

One fellow bystander remarked, "This is the most disorganized thing I have ever seen," and I agree.

Unless assurances are made for next year's event for organized lines and basic crowd control for admittance, I, among many others who were discontent, will not be returning.

Tom Syvertsen


Racing at early age puts horses at risk

As a horse racing fan, I am deeply distressed at Barbaro's accident.

I believe, however, that it should be a watershed event. Perhaps the reason we haven't had a Triple Crown winner in 30 years is because we are exploiting the sport by racing horses that are too young and underdeveloped and by stressing that riders must maintain unrealistic weights.

I will no longer support the Triple Crown events in any way until reforms are made. Breeders' Cup and other races maintain more realistic goals.

We might also want to take the advice of Europeans who wait until a horse is 4 years old before heavily racing them.

Pat Ranney


A note to Angelos: Please sell the O's

To Peter Angelos:

With all due respect, sir, I, as a lifelong Orioles fan, am compelled to ask: At what point in time do you look at yourself in the mirror and say enough is enough?

All signs say it's time for you to give serious contemplation to selling the team. To me, the inherent integrity of the organization is at risk.

Your team (and overall organization) is in a state of regression.

This team cannot compete with the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees. I'm not asking that we beat these teams consistently; reason says that's an impossibility. I just want my home team to be competitive with these teams, and that's just not happening, What's worse, I cannot envision that happening in the near future.

I am personally appalled and embarrassed when Boston and New York come to town. Our beloved ballpark becomes "home away from home" for these teams. The players on those teams must look eagerly forward to playing in Baltimore for obvious reasons.

What a despicable shame - former owner Jerry Hoffberger would have fled town if this scenario would have occurred under his tenure. You can take that to the bank.

The Ravens rule in this city, and rightly so. The once-proud Orioles teams seem like a hazy, distant memory. Unfortunately, we baseball fans in this city do not want to be inspired by memories alone, but sadly, that's all we have.

(I won't even delve into why Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken are not involved with the organization - that's a rant for a different day).

Sir, no one in this great city will deny that you are an astute businessman, but the truth is, you possess little or no baseball acumen.

Ease our pain. Sell the team.

Patrick R. Lynch


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