© St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2001
Kudos to the Rays' long overdue firing of Larry Rothschild. Regrettably it wasn't a package deal with Chuck LaMar. And since the Lightning already cleaned house this year, we can only hope good things do come in threes. Are you listening, Rich McKay?
-- Paul Stockinger, Cleveland
Just saw the Rays drop their fifth in a row, and I need to get something straight. You, Chuck LaMar, hire a new manager to turn things around and the first thing he does is bench the team's best hitter? I always thought the higher the batting average, the better the hitter, but I guess in the Rays' case that is not so. Steve Cox is one of the Rays I would come out to see, and now Hal McRae is going to try to get him four at-bats a week? He has it backward. The other guy should get four at-bats a week. Do you want to know why fans don't show up? It's simple: The players and the organization haven't earned the fan support. Getting big names does not earn fan support, pride and hustle does.
-- Larry Yurkonis, St. Petersburg
Okay, so they lost again (Wednesday). But were you there to see Albie Lopez and the defense do an amazing job of shutting down the great lineup of Boston hitters for seven innings? It was masterful and awesome to watch.
Were you there to see it? Were you there to see Jose Guillen throw a rocket disguised as a baseball from rightfield to catcher John Flaherty in time to get the runner out at the plate?
Okay, Tanyon Sturtze had big problems. So did Vinny Castilla. The mark of a man's character is how he reacts to those problems. My guess is Sturtze will work on his control. My guess is Castilla will work on his concentration and timing.
Being a fan means being a fan all of the time, not just during the winning.
-- Jennifer Walker, e-mail
Here's my yearly open letter to those who broadcast baseball. Please don't show the game routinely from centerfield. Baseball is a team sport, not a three-player sport. With the centerfield view, we miss the great things about baseball that one sees at the game, too numerous to list here. The old view from behind the plate allows us to see what's going on all over the field and what happens immediately after a pitch is hit.
-- David Lubin, Tampa
I do not trust NASCAR with any information it shares from its investigation. It will only report what it wants us to know and cover up the truth. I have lost my faith in NASCAR after the way it handled crashes the past year, like not letting police do any investigating. NASCAR is only out for itself. It does care about the drivers, teams sponsors or the fans who have made it millions of dollars.
NA$CAR needs a good wake-up call.
-- Frank Mochrie, Chatham, N.Y.
I don't think NASCAR is doing much about anything since it received the big TV contracts. The coverage has gotten better, but NASCAR still is ignoring the problems. I think it should drop back a little, look at what's going on around it, and never mind the green stuff.
-- Bob Schelb, e-mail
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