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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 20, 2003

Bucs should send Smith packing

So we find Dwight Smith waved a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun in road rage. That is a felony. Tony Dungy would have an accused felon packed and long gone by now. Let's see if the Glazers and Jon Gruden have the guts to follow Dungy's fine example. This athlete adulation has to stop, and here's the chance for the Bucs to start.
-- Bob Marcus, St. Petersburg

I can't think of any extenuating circumstance that might justify threatening someone with a loaded handgun. The Bucs and this community would be better off without Smith. Get rid of him before he hurts someone.
-- Lou Kirschbaum, Largo

No protesting CBS Masters coverage

Sorry, John Cotey, but CBS got it exactly right. The protest was a non-issue and was given exactly the coverage it deserved: none. It showed CBS was not the "lap dog" of Martha Burk and the NOW group, who got little or no support from their members. The only head in the sand belongs to the folks who continue to be on the wrong side of these so-called issues.
-- Paul Correll Jr., vie e-mail

Immature, but definitely not a child

Yes, Josh Hamilton seemed perfect. He stood 6 feet 4, his skills were remarkable, he was probably the best baseball prospect in America in 1999 and signed for a $4-million bonus.

But it appears, like many others, he had too much too soon. He was lacking in the one ingredient that could turn these skills into the outstanding baseball player we thought he would be: discipline. The discipline needed to perfect his skills and compete at a major-league level. The discipline that drives you to success.

I hope for Hamilton's sake he returns from hiding from his baseball failures, that he has the discipline to become a great baseball player. But, please, no more "a child gone astray." He is a man who found himself unable to compete at the major-league level, so he dropped out.
-- Victor Wood, Indian Rocks Beach

Piniella needs a dose of decency

The profanity-laced tirade by Lou Piniella that appeared in the April 13 sports section needs to end. For the good of the national pastime, the young people and people in general, this language cannot be accepted in public. It is obvious that Piniella needs some help and, for the sake of the Rays, Tampa Bay and certainly baseball, I hope he realizes this must stop.
-- Bob Connelly, Tampa

For Shelton, a lesson in humility

Boy was Gary Shelton wrong. Tiger Woods choked and went in the tank. I guess he could not handle the pressure. And the field did not back up. Phil Mickelson played well even though Shelton thought he wouldn't. Shelton should tone down his articles so he doesn't look so stupid on Monday morning.
-- Dave O'Brien, via e-mail

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