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Letters to the Editors

Rays make bad moves once again

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001

Another season beginning, and again I meet frustration trying to support the Rays. Once more, stupid moves are made by their "brain trust" that make it hard to support them. The best way for them to become truly big league is to ban Chuck LaMar from shopping at yard sales, reaching for the wallet to pick up others' discards.

Listening to the final preseason game, why am I not surprised when the latest "bargains" surrender more runs in an inning (or less) than a pitcher who was sent down allowed all preseason? And if Bobby Smith is getting another chance to flop, why not keep Brent Abernathy, a player considered by more knowledgeable sources as a rookie of the year candidate?

Maybe someday the owner will realize that the best way to build and retain a fan base is to replace an incompetent management before it is too late.Ken Schaaf, Brandon

On a scale of 1-10 the Rays are what, maybe a 5 or 6? Maybe? So how can a guy pitch 13 innings, give up one run and not make this ballclub? Rusty Meacham was awesome all spring with an ERA under 0.80 and he can't make this club? What a joke.
-- Randy Rose, via e-mail

Price hike means lost fan

The unofficial word on the street is Rays season-ticket sales are under 10,000. I did not renew my lower-reserved seat when the price went up $60. Although part of that hike was for parking, that's a steep increase to watch a team that won 69 games last year, has $15-million worth of pitching on the disabled list and made only one major roster improvement (Ben Grieve).
-- Steve Guss, Clearwater

Exaggerated turnout?

I'm thrilled the announced crowd at the Rays opener was over 41,000, but there is no way that was true. There were no more than 30,000-32,000 in attendance, if that.

Vince Naimoli and the front office need to 'fess up that the number was tickets sold, not people who came through the gates.
-- Eileen McGarry, St. Petersburg

I have long been an avid supporter of Gary Shelton. His postscript to an amazing NCAA season for Shane Battier and the Duke Blue Devils tops the list as the best ever. It is gratifying to read that some college athletes have such high scruples.
-- Joan Harris, Largo

No place for goons

Your headline on the Matthew Barnaby story (Kickin' Back, April 1) should have read "Barnaby: Goon" or "How to make it in the NHL with little or no talent." When hockey's honchos decide there is no room for Barnaby-type antics whose sole purpose is to fight, we'll have a game worth watching.
-- D.W. Whitley, Largo

Support for Dungy

I lived in Hillsborough County when the Bucs were created and never wavered as a true fan, even though I now live in Tallahassee.

I find it astonishing that anyone can honestly find fault with Tony Dungy. We have a man with the kind of character we wish all sports celebrities modeled for our kids and grandkids, and he has turned the hapless Bucs into winners.
-- Russ Cyphers, Tallahassee

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