August 05, 2006

High school athletes need summer off, too

As I read David Selig's piece ["Their summer is no vacation," July 25], I could not help but feel displeased at the process of "optional workouts" and sympathy for current high school students who participate in them through the summer. It was not so long ago that I was a high school student (five years, in fact), and I remember dreading preseason training sessions since they cut vacation by two weeks. However, I understood it as part of the process in order to prepare for the upcoming season, since academics would soon consume the majority of our time, leaving precious few hours for physical conditioning and working on tactics.

However, we still had two months of summer vacation, a relief from nine tough months of tests, papers, classes and anything else school-related.

I do not object to these "optional" workouts themselves. I would have no problem with them if they were actually optional and didn't result in kids losing playing time due to not attending.

What happened to summer and kids being able to enjoy it? What happened to going to the beach, grilling outside and spending quality time with family and friends at home or on vacation? After all, there is little time for that during the academic school year, given the ever-increasing competition for college admission and the myriad of other extracurricular activities that consume a high school student's life in addition to a busy social schedule.

Jamil Batcha

Hunt Valley

Memo to Orioles: Advertise in N.Y.

The Orioles organization should not worry about losing attendance to the Washington Nationals.

The Orioles can increase attendance by drawing more baseball fans from the New York area.

New Yorkers are not just visiting Camden Yards to see their own team play the Orioles. They are coming in to see other teams like the White Sox, Tigers or A's play because it is almost impossible to obtain tickets to see these super teams in New York. The ticket situation in New York is driving fans to Baltimore to see good baseball where ticket and food prices are more affordable than in New York and where you can still get a good seat with a reasonably advance purchase.

The O's should increase their marketing to the New York area, and before long, people will be calling them America's team.

Michael Boyajian

Fishkill, N.Y.

O's pitching ways baffle this fan

Would someone either in your newspaper (at the sports desk) or alleged Orioles management explain why neither manager Sam Perlozzo nor pitching coach Leo Mazzone ever go to the mound when our pitchers have trouble, thereby avoiding scenarios like the White Sox pinch hitter's ninth-inning grand slam [July 28] ... their eighth team grand slam this year?

I don't care what players we trade. Besides trading away team owner Peter Angelos, like one of the readers wrote in this newspaper earlier this week, how about throwing in both Perlozzo and Mazzone?

All I see when watching Orioles televised games are these "mental midgets" sitting on the bench talking and/or chewing sunflower seeds. Why should I pay my hard-earned money to watch fiascoes like the 6-4 loss to Chicago keep happening game after game?

Harry I. Kleiman


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