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Letters to the Editors

Rays in limbo: How low can management go?

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 29, 2002

The Rays claim they were forced to cut payroll. How much lower does Vince Naimoli want it to go? The pitchers the Rays let go probably were not worth what they would have commanded in arbitration, but if the Rays do not add at least one established starting pitcher who could win 15 games, it will be another 100-loss season. I'm not asking the Rays to break the bank, but going into a season with Kennedy, Zambrano, Brazelton and Bierbrodt is not anything to get excited about. Plenty of promise there, but a lot of seasoning still is needed.

Lou Piniella is probably good for an additional 12-15 wins, because he won't make the stupid mistakes that past managers made. Couple that with a new 15-game winner, and that's a 30-game turnaround. A few lucky bounces could get you another 5-10 wins.

I can't believe that Piniella is going to tolerate not having a few more horses to work with. What do the fans have to look forward to next season, 100 losses (or more) and plenty of empty blue seats? What a shame.
-- Danny Di Nicolantonio, St. Petersburg

With the Rays lowering payroll, it's hard for a fan to understand whether management wants to put a decent team on the field. Lou Piniella is a good manager, but it might take a miracle worker to put fans back in the seats. I am a fan, but I would like to see at least a little improvement over past years.
-- Bruce Weiss, Tampa

Rays management made one of its worst decisions by releasing Tanyon Sturtze, a veteran major-league pitcher with one of the healthiest arms and most competitive attitudes in the game. With a reasonable amount of batting and fielding production, he would not have ended the season with the league's worst pitching record. He was poorly managed by Hal McRae and should have sued the Rays for nonsupport. The Rays have some strong, young arms but they need a veteran to lead and encourage them. Sturtze was the right guy for the job. The Blue Jays have signed a winner.
-- Jim Lambert, Madeira Beach

Sold another Bill of goods?

I burst out laughing when I heard Bill Parcells had talked with Jerry Jones about coaching the Cowboys. Haven't these people in ownership and management learned anything about this man? He wants to get a little attention once a year, so he says, "Well, I might think about it if the offer is right." Yeah, right. When the Bucs were thinking about him, I told my kids I wouldn't watch another game as long as he was the coach. Unbelievable.
-- Barbara Feeney, South Pasadena

High for the Hoosiers

When's the last time you remember an Indiana basketball coach with the integrity to say "I acted badly" and "I cost my team the game?" Kudos to Mike Davis. He has elevated himself through his reflective candor.
-- Bill Ackerman, Homosassa


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