© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 10, 2001
Bob Costas' comments regarding the possibility of contraction of major-league teams (Costas still busy without baseball, June 5) came across as arrogant at best and certainly cavalier. It is way too soon to assess the long-term viability of the teams. While baseball is facing economic woes and declining attendance, it is not due solely to the expansion teams and dilution of talent. This area is fairly time tested with pro sports franchises. I know the Bucs were hardly a fan favorite until recently, and now there is a waiting list of more than 20,000 fans for season tickets.
-- Dennis Hutchins, Tampa
About 11 years ago, I ran into Bob Costas with his then-young son at the McDonald's on Fourth Street and 38th Avenue N in St. Petersburg.
I grew up in St. Louis, which is where Bob's wife is from, and I know they have at least one home there. His father-in-law was my pharmacist back when you had a pharmacist who actually knew your name. I walked over and, of course, he thought I was going to say, "Aren't you Bob Costas?" What I chose to say was, "Aren't you Mr. Krummenacher's grandson?" Needless to say he was totally surprised but incredibly charming. We just talked a couple minutes, but what I was so impressed with was that he went out of his way to come back to my table and ask me my name again before he left so that he could tell his father-in-law that he met me.
-- Kathleen Matecki, St. Pete Beach
As a mother of a 5-year-old daughter who is diagnosed with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome I thank you for your recent support and coverage of Casey Martin's suit against the PGA. And yes, Gary Shelton, I fully agree: It shouldn't have taken the PGA or the court system nearly this long.
While there are only about 1,500 reported cases of Klippel-Trenaunay worldwide, it would be unusual for most of us to have knowledge of how this syndrome might manifest itself in Martin's situation. Education is the key, however, and I applaud those who took the time to educate themselves before reaching an incorrect decision.
I will readily admit our family has a personal interest in this case. Yet, I defy any of your readers with an opposing view to look into the eyes of our 5-year-old daughter and tell her that her personal goals will be restricted because of a court ruling. The syndrome will be restriction enough. Thankfully, the courts will not add to that.
-- Jodee Craig, Seminole
Last place is one thing, but in their fourth year of existence, our horrific Rays are reaching for the all-time worst single-season record in baseball history. Several poor personnel decisions and a lot of bad luck are to blame. And if the play on the field was not bad enough, there is infighting among the ownership group, and increasing talk that Major League Baseball will eliminate two franchises at the end of this season, ours being one of them.
Is this what we waited so long for? Four consecutive last-place finishes, national embarrassment, followed by a public execution? If it all goes down this way, let it be known that Tampa Bay fans never really had a chance to embrace this team. Excuse us, Vince Naimoli, but after two decades of Culverhouse stench we have become wary of shoddy ownership that promises a commitment to winning but delivers a lousy product year after year.
As we have shown with both the Bucs and the Lightning, however, when you give us a competitive team we will support you in ample numbers. If Bud Selig and his band of thieves are allowed to dissolve what is left of our baseball dreams, it will be tragic shame that Tampa Bay's brief major-league tenure fell so far short of its potential.
-- Doug Robison, St. Petersburg
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