© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000
I will not watch the Subway Series on TV. Don't get me wrong. I love NuuuYuck. The thought of a Carnegie Deli corned beef makes my mouth water. Little Italy, Chinatown, Dean & Deluca, Broadway theater, I can have it all for a $79 ticket on JetBlue.
But now that the small-market, small-money teams again have been swept away, I hope the ratings take a dive as well. Actually, this is the closest the Rays will come to making the playoffs. Rick White and Bubba Trammell on the Mets and Canseco in the Yankees dugout will give the Series a Tampa Bay flavor, don't you think?
And what must Oakland be dreading? Displaying all that young talent for the Yanks and Mets must make the big spenders drool. Before you know it, the A's will be too expensive to keep together. Back in Manhattan, the commish is certainly in a pickle. How can he sell this Series to the rest of us poor folk? Maybe he can talk JetBlue into a reduced fare excursion rate. That way, all of us fans in them thar small markets can wake up and smell the Dean & Deluca special blend roast coffee, too.
-- Joel Hersch, Clearwater
Let's not honor Pete Maggiore, coach of the Inverness softball team, simply because he made the decision to forfeit the biggest game in the life of his team. The fact is, he failed miserably.
The team from Eloy, Ariz., was within the rules and regulations of the program to have boys as team members. The Eloy girls would have been deprived of playing any game if it weren't for the recruiting of a couple of boys to make up a team. The boys should receive merit badges for making the sacrifice "for the girls and the community." The Inverness girls wanted to play, but Coach Maggiore feared for their safety.
At this stage of the Inverness team's development, there are three important coaching considerations: to develop playing ability; to build character; and to teach sportsmanship. Maggiore missed the boat on all three. Instead, he taught the girls to walk away from any competition that might seem too challenging. Has he heard the adage, "It isn't whether you win or lose, but how you play the game?"
I'd like to know why Maggiore was coaching a girls team in the first place. It would have been better off with Mrs. Maggiore. She would have given the girls a pep talk to encourage them.
-- Jim Lambert, Madeira Beach
This letter is in response to the fan from Texas who complained of Lightning fans on opening night at the Ice Palace. I think any person wearing any jersey other than that of the home team should expect to be treated rudely.
I am sick of seeing people from other cities, or from here, wearing jerseys for other cities. If you live here, be proud of the home team.
And to the woman who wrote the letter, why doesn't she go to a Stars game and wear a Lightning jersey and see what kind of treatment she receives there? Or, better yet, wear her Stars jersey to a Philadelphia game. She'll find out the meaning of brotherly love.
-- James Hunnell, Clearwater
I was upset when I read the letter from Stephanie LaNoue in the Oct. 15 Commentary. I would like to apologize on behalf of us well-behaved Lightning fans. I've only been into hockey since the 1998-99 playoffs. When I went to my first Lightning game last season, I was surprised by all the team jerseys attendees were wearing. What surprised me even more was that people wearing Lightning jerseys weren't harassing them! I thought for sure they'd be hassled or taunted because it seemed like sacrilege to wear another team's colors on home ice.
I've never witnessed any trouble over jerseys, so I've thought very highly of tolerant Lightning fans. However, it seems whenever alcohol, or rather, an excess of it, enters the picture, some people just can't behave themselves and become an embarrassment and a problem to those around them.
So, Stephanie, on behalf of those of us in Tampa Bay who love the best game on the planet regardless of the team, my sincerest apologies for the rude way in which you and your friend were treated.
-- S.A. Barrett-Pluta, Largo
The Lightning will not fill the house unless it wins. All the new, young, fast talent playing its heart out is for naught without a first-class NHL goalie. Dan Cloutier is at best a backup. Kevin Weekes is a joke (4 teams in 4 years). Unless it signs a top-notch NHL goalie, and there are a few available, it will remain a loser.
-- Paul Evans, Homosassa
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