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Letters to the Editors

Clemens sets another bad example for kids

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000

As an umpire and coach in youth baseball, I would like to thank Roger Clemens for setting yet another supreme example of "sportsmanslike conduct" to the youth in America.

Why, it must have taken a tremendous amount of courage to pick up a broken, jagged-edged bat and throw it at Mike Piazza. Why the umpire didn't toss Clemens from the game is beyond me.

It will be difficult to measure the harm done to the game of baseball by Clemens' actions in a World Series game, but I hope someone (i.e. Joe Torre or George Steinbrenner) will require Roger to umpire a few games of youth baseball in the off-season. Maybe he will get the message when he sees a young superstar throw his bat and possibly hurt a team member or rival.

I have blown it on the field as a coach and parent, but I always have gone back and asked those I offended to forgive me. Clemens, it's your turn.
-- Craig Gross, Oldsmar

Cheer the Yankees

Start spreadin' the news. The New York Yankees are the World Champions of baseball. Again. This first World Series between two New York teams since 1956 was worth the wait. The Mets should be proud. They played well. As Derek Jeter said, "They are the best team we've faced in the post-season." Yeah, but these Yankees really know how to win. It was a terrific five games. Baseball at its best.

Growing up in the Bronx, it seemed I tasted Yankee World Series victories all the time. Now, as I get old in Florida, it is sweet to taste them once again.
-- Jack Bray, Dunedin

A shining light

Mr. Lambert's letter (Commentary, Oct. 22) lambasting coach Maggiore of the Inverness girls softball team was not only uncalled for, but completely off base. Mr. Lambert ... was incorrect in stating Eloy, Ariz., did not have enough girls to field a team when, in fact, it was the boys baseball team that did not have enough boys to field a team, allowing them to play on the girls softball team (which at the time was within the rules).

As far as Lambert's three important coaching considerations -- to develop playing ability, to build character and to teach sportsmanship -- I believe coach Maggiore exhibited all three. Obviously for these girls to reach the World Series they developed playing ability. It also took a great deal of character to forfeit a game to stand up for your beliefs, as Maggiore did. Third, how much sportsmanship did Arizona exhibit by the boys flexing for the cameras and imitating firing guns with their bats as to say "no girls team stands a chance against us boys?"

The adage "It isn't whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" should not apply because the girls' safety was involved. Already in the tournament several girls had been hurt by the Arizona boys charging into bases. ... Lambert's comment suggesting Mrs. Maggiore should have coached the team was sexist and completely uncalled for. Coach Maggiore not only demonstrated coaching ability, but humanity and selflessness in putting his team's safety as first priority. Not only should he be commended, but the entire area should also learn a great lesson from coach Maggiore's example.
-- Michael Blount, Floral City

Kudos on Elliott piece

I would like to commend Kevin Kelly on his great story about Bill Elliott. He hit the nail on the head when he talked of a new start for him. Many NASCAR fans, including myself, watch Sunday's races and wish for him to return to his old form.

Kevin did justice to Elliott and his fans. Well done. I'll look for more of his stories.
-- Tom Miller, Clearwater

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