© St. Petersburg Times, published September 22, 2002
Since Tiger Woods finds personal fame and million-dollar checks more important than representing his country, all current and future Ryder Cup captains can relieve him of the pressure of having to make this difficult choice by omitting him from future teams.
This would allow them to let one more person who really wants to be involved in the "team concept" (something Tiger obviously does not understand or enjoy) to be part of all the Ryder Cup activities, leaving Tiger to pursue his quest for personal fame and fortune without having to take on any tiresome obligation to country and fellow players.
-- D.M. Hirons, Clearwater
Thank you, Gary Shelton, for a great column on apathy (Let's replace apathy with anger, Wednesday). I'm one of those who e-mail the Rays with my complaints. And I do get replies: "Thank you for expressing your feelings." That's not enough!
When I go to the games -- and I did go to every series at the start of the season -- I sit behind home plate in seats that cost $25. It's more than I should spend, but I am rabid. Now I don't go. I stopped when the team came home a few weeks ago after sweeping Kansas City, a three-game streak. I expected to watch a team that had finally jelled. What happened? When I got to the ballpark they had totally changed the lineup from the one that had won three straight and put in the kids from the minors. Didn't the fans deserve to see the team that had looked as if it finally was on the right path? Instead I watched as the Little Leaguers they had brought up threw the game away by totally inept play in the outfield.
I decided I would not go to any other games this year. I think other fans have done the same. For gosh sake, can't Hal McRae and the other coaches at least show a little emotion? Hal (the nice guy) has to go.
I'm only one, but there are others who will pay and attend games when we feel the Rays really want to win.
-- Robert J. Beyer, Treasure Island
Finally someone (Gary Shelton) speaks up about the losing Rays. Fans are frustrated and will continue to show suppressed anger at the ticket office. The media have tiptoed around this team for too long. If Bucs coach Jon Gruden oversleeps, we hear about it immediately. Baseball fans are lucky to even hear the latest about the Rays on the 6 p.m. TV news. We do demand a complete change in management next season, not more of the same 100-plus losses.
-- Sue Hunt, Apollo Beach
Now that Rays utility infielder Russ Johnson has dealt with his personal demons and become a religious zealot, he is concerned about the "Devil" in the Rays name (Rays Tales, Sunday). Maybe if he were more concerned with his .216 average and his inability to contribute on the field, the Rays would be a better team, devil or no devil.
-- Rick Wilk, Oldsmar
Has A-Rod had his brains fried in the Texas heat, saying we need a stadium with a retractable roof here (Stadium, good team needed, A-Rod says, Sept. 7)? As one who sat through years of hot summer nights at Al Lang Field, I can testify that nobody is going to do that again if we can help it.
-- Priscilla M. Hoon, St. Petersburg
USF hasn't taken many beatings like the one at Arkansas in six years of football. As fans, we are used to handing out punishment like that, so this will help us keep perspective. It will do a couple of other things too: show our coaches and players that they need to keep working and help expose the weakness of USF's one-dimensional offense.
-- Matthew Yoder, via e-mail
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