November 04, 2006

Ryan swings, misses with comparison

One can only sit back and marvel at the unbridled stupidity of professional football players and coaches. In a column by Mike Preston ["Opponents in no rush to throw near Reed," Oct. 28], Rex Ryan, defensive coach for the Ravens, is high in praise of the Ravens' defensive back, Ed Reed. Good old Rex tells us that Reed is in the same league as Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. To quote Rex Ryan: "I compare Ed Reed to Barry Bonds and the year he hit like 73 home runs."

Considering Bonds' sojourn into steroid country, the comparison of Reed to Bonds is about as complimentary as comparing Billick to Hitler, or Mother Teresa to Angelos. Of course, Rex has no claim to arrogant stupidity. There's Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who suffered a second concussion within four months for refusing to wear a helmet that was designed to offer substantially more protection. The good news is that wearing a helmet lacking in protection is a move up on the athlete IQ scale compared with not wearing a helmet while driving a motorcycle.

Joseph Michael Cierniak


Wake up, baseball; daylight is good, too

Whatever moves it makes, it seems that Major League Baseball cannot make the right ones.

Take the poor World Series television ratings. As soon as the larger metropolis' teams (for instance, New York) were eliminated, many chose not to watch the World Series.

I was hard-pressed to find family and friends who were willing to watch the Tigers vs. the Cardinals. I'm sure the Fox network dreaded having to carry a World Series involving mid-sized market teams. Was Tim McCarver the only living, breathing Fox analyst who was enthusiastic about this series? If Major League Baseball truly wanted to plant the seeds of the merits of baseball to the younger generation, it would occasionally forgo prime-time TV ratings and go back to televising afternoon games. But MLB won't do this because it reeks of logic, and that would destroy its current stodgy image. Plus, it all boils down to a ratings game. What a pity. It's not what Mr. Doubleday had in mind when he conjured up the game. As it is now, the evening games do not usually end until well after 11.

That's OK, Mr. Selig. Keep shooting yourself in the foot until America's pastime is nothing more than a foggy memory.

Patrick R. Lynch


No No. 1 pitcher means fourth again

After reading how the Orioles have no plans to pay for a No. 1 pitcher, I've resigned myself to another fourth-place finish in 2007.

While the warehouse has signed a good nucleus of position players, it refuses to acknowledge the need for a true No. 1 starting pitcher, something the team hasn't had since Peter Angelos let Mike Mussina get away in 2000. This team needs a true ace to lead the staff. Trade for the disgruntled Curt Schilling. Pay the money for Barry Zito. One stud starter to prevent long losing streaks; one more slugger; a revamped bullpen to give Chris Ray some help, and maybe we chase the wild card. Unfortunately, none of that is going to happen.

Brian L. Greenwald


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