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Excuse us, but the Yankees are better than the Rays

Published September 28, 2003

Your article (Rays: Yanks dish it out but can't take it, Monday) failed to point out that:

1. Nick Johnson was hit by Jeremi Gonzalez in the same inning before Jorge Posada was brushed back.

2. On Saturday three Yankees were drilled before Jeff Nelson retaliated.

3. Rays pitchers lead both leagues in hit batters.

I think the Rays have a nice group of players, especially outfielders, but Rays batters better loosen up when they play Boston and Pedro Martinez.

And did you really have to print Gonzalez's ridiculous statement that next year, "We're better than them"?

In what? Surely not winning ballgames. They have to worry about staying ahead of the Tigers.

-- Harvey Roberts, Lecanto

When I read (Marc Topkin's) article, I had to laugh at the quote from the Devil Rays' pitcher who said of the Yankees, "They think they're better than everybody." The only thing that was more comical was your explanation that began with the word "Technically."


There is nothing "technical" about a won-loss record. You and Jeremi Gonzalez might want to take a drive to Legends Field and read the sign facing Dale Mabry Highway: 26 World Championships and 38 American League pennants say they are better than everybody.

-- Gregg Laskoski, Tampa

The Gators need much help, and these coaches aren't it

I hope Ron Zook doesn't expect UF to offer that coaching extension again at the end of the season. He said he wanted to earn it before he accepted it. Well, he's not earning it.

He's at best an assistant coach. Tell him to go back to the pros and be the special teams cheerleader. He seemed to be good at that.

Too bad the Gators couldn't get Billy Donovan to coach both teams. I know they're different sports, but at least he does his homework and knows how to get an offense and defense to show up for a big game.

Zook must go!

-- Jeff Wilcox, Largo

This year the bleeding continues, and I can't keep quiet any longer. Even the players are clearly frustrated and confused (UF offense a mishmash of philosophies, Thursday). Either Zook rids himself of offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher voluntarily, or UF and its boosters will throw both Z's out the window.

I believe Zook is a good man who will become a good coach when he finds someone who understands offense. But "Zaunbrecher the team wrecker" needs to go back to the MAC or to some I-AA school where he can get away with his willy-nilly play calling and his grammar-school offense. There's no place for it on a major college team.

-- G.W. Cantrell, St. Pete Beach

What do you expect after spoiling college players?

Sure, blame Chris Rix (FSU's Rix fined for parking, Tuesday; and Parking problems continue for Rix, Wednesday) but save some for yourself. You howl about the thrill of college football. Is it any wonder these guys feel and act like gods?

Here's an idea: Scrap college football. It undermines institutes of higher education and inhibits player development. Instead, institute NFL Junior.

Here's the player progression: (1) Pop Warner career, (2) high school GED, (3) ESPN feature story, (4) NFL Jr. career, (5) ESPN play-of-the-day, (6) NFL career, (7) ESPN documentary, (8) Canton, Ohio!

Students go back to class. Players play their games. Maurice Clarett applies for early release. Everybody's happy. Bottom line: It could never work. How would you pry that M-O-N-E-Y out of the mitts of colleges and the BCS?

-- Matt Schmidt, Tampa

Raiders show brotherhood, whether they win or lose

Re: Davis' Raider rebels always stick together, Sept. 21.

After getting steamrolled in the Super Bowl, I realized something. Regardless of who holds up the Super Bowl trophy, neither the Bucs nor anyone else in the NFL will ever possess the true brotherhood of the real "Raider Nation."

-- David Bley, St. Petersburg
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