© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2002
The stupidity of baseball players and owners never ceases to amaze. Do they not realize it is the paying patrons who determine if they have jobs? Why would they intentionally destroy what took years to rebuild after the last strike? Players make more money in a year than most of us will make in a lifetime, and we are the ones supporting this lunacy. Grow up.
What players do is not that important. I'd rather watch Little League or high school baseball. At least they play for the right reasons: love of the game and providing entertainment for the few fans they draw. I'd pay $200 for a Bucs game. I doubt you could give me tickets for a Rays game. If you children finish your squabble, let me know. I'll be the one reading about NFL and NHL. At least you picked the right time to strike.
-- Ed Holeman, Clearwater
To save the greatest game in the world, it may be necessary to take a page from the playbook of Ronald Reagan. The former president fired striking air traffic controllers in 1982 and started anew with fresh talent. The same could be done with minor-league players, who in time will reinstate sanity to this kid's game. Today's players don't understand they are jeopardizing the best jobs in America. Do you think they would trade places with coal miners? I don't.
-- Reid Moore, Lake City
The continuous labor disputes killed my (and many others') enthusiasm for the game long ago. Go ahead, owners and players, spend your time between now and the inevitable Friday strike date trying to convince the average fan the problem lies with the other side. The bottom line is fewer fans will care, and maybe that will affect their bottom line.
-- Michael Schlesinger, Pinellas Park
Why would someone schedule a clinic for future fans, and maybe a future NBA star, and not show up? The kids deserve more. The parents deserve more. Shaquille O'Neal could have been there for the autograph session and for them to see and hear. What an ego. Too bad his heart and soul are not as big. I love sports, and I, too, am disillusioned by the unfeeling and uncaring attitudes of some athletes. Don't worry, kids. These people do not deserve a minute of your time.
-- Bejie Friend, Clearwater
I enjoyed the article on Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden (Two for 1, Aug. 18), but take issue with the credit you give Bowden. You weakly credit Grambling's Eddie Robinson and St. Johns' John Gagliardi for winning more games, but you discount the significance of their achievements as being in the lower divisions of college football.
Following this guideline, you need to qualify Bowden's record when comparing to the wins of Bear Bryant and Paterno, which were earned in Division I-A. Bowden is credited with 31 wins he got at Samford. Samford is Division I-AA. Until Bowden wins 35 or more games in Division I-A, he shouldn't be compared with the Bear or Paterno.
-- Jerry Carlson, Largo
Let the Lightning go bust. The ownership from Japan to Detroit has fed us a revolving door of chicken dump while many fans spent thousands over the past 10 years supporting the team. No sane fan continues to buy a product that fails time after time. That the Lightning has the lowest revenue should not surprise owners. Tampa Bay fans have given up. The Lightning does not have anyone who could play on the first line of any of the top 10 teams in the NHL. Listen closely, Vince Naimoli. The Rays will suffer the same fate if things don't change on your lineup card.
-- Mike Rizzo, Oldsmar
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