Wrong man was fired
Frankly speaking, I think the firing of Frank Robinson was a gutless move by a spineless organization that refuses to spend money to get quality players. The Orioles will continue to be also-rans as long as they use has-beens and utility players as a foundation for building a team.
It should have been the general manager, the president of the team and the owner who should have been fired. When the team wins, the players get the praise, but when things go wrong, it is the manager who gets the gong.
In Robinson's tenure as manager he had nothing at all to manage. With the players he had to manage, winning must not have been on the agenda. The Orioles will always be mediocre as long long as the present management is in charge of the
Class AAA Orioles?
After watching the Baltimore Orioles play three pathetic games against the New York Yankees (who could be the worst team in the AL if not for the Orioles), I just had to write to offer sympathy to the Baltimore fans for what is listed as a "major-league" team. I don't think they could be in fourth place in any Class AAA league.
Outside of a truly outstanding ballplayer -- Cal Ripken Jr. -- the Orioles management should be ashamed of putting this team on the field. Is it any wonder that Frank Robinson could do nothing with them? They made the Yankees look like world champions. Shame on the Orioles management. The best thing they could do would be to trade Ripken to a decent team where he could really get the notice he deserves. My deepest sympathy to Baltimore for this disgrace.
Pearl River, N.Y.
A vote for Camden Yards
I feel an unnecessary problem has developed in arguing over the name of the Baltimore Orioles' new stadium. The three names I see as consistently leading the debate make reference to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Babe Ruth or the Camden property itself. The choice seems quite obvious to me.
Naming the stadium after the governor needs to be dismissed immediately. I still see little reason to merit naming our stadium after him. He has done many good things for Baltimore, and some for Maryland. But name our stadium after this man? I'd like to write a letter to anyone with this view.
As for a reference to baseball legend Babe Ruth, I feel this is well-deserved but misplaced. He is one of the most wonderful parts of baseball and American history and as his birthplace we should somehow honor him. Perhaps a part of the stadium could be set off to display exhibits that acknowledge his accomplishments. Renaming the street on which the park is located may be appropriate. But our stadium should not bear his name.
In view of this, I feel it likely I share a popular opinion that we name the Orioles' new home after the land itself. I don't see any problem with simply calling it "Camden Yards." This name is different, intimate, justified and fitting of a place people will come to adore.
Good enough for the queen?
Good heavens, how could we allow Queen Elizabeth to visit shabby old, rundown Memorial Stadium? No wonder she only stayed for two innings. She should have been told to wait till next year when our beautiful new ballpark will be finished. Maybe the queen is nostalgic, and she wanted to see one last Orioles games at 33rd Street. If Memorial Stadium is fit for a queen, then isn't it good enough for us common folk?
Michael J. Peterson
Put blame on EBW
Looking at the Orioles' woes this season, one can't help thinking back to the disaster of the Edward Bennett Williams years and imagine where the ballclub might be today if he either never had bought the club or if he had a different attitude as owner. The team still lives in the shadow of those years. Consider the following:
Lost: Eddie Murray (disgusted with the EBW-fostered situation), Mike Boddicker (dumped after the ruin was almost complete), Dennis Martinez (the old-style Orioles management would have worked with him and his off-the-field problems and kept him in the family) and Storm Davis (stupid trade, lack of willingness to work with a talented young player). In return for these guys the Orioles got Ken Howell (who was immediately traded for Phil Bradley). Juan Bell, Brian Holton, Brady Anderson, Curt Schilling, Terry Kennedy and Mark Williamson.
These were atrocious deals. All of the former Orioles have gone on to excel with other teams. Another deal since the EBW years that probably wouldn't have happened but for those years was Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis. Finally, an inexplicable, just plain stupid deal is Bradley for Ron Kittle.
Consider the potential Orioles lineup without those trades:
Batting order: Bradley LF, Finley CF, C. Ripken SS, Murray 1B, Evans RF, Milligan/Horn DH, Worthington 3B, Hoiles/Whitt C, B. Ripken 2B.
Starting rotation: Boddicker, Martinez, Davis, McDonald, Harnisch.
Bullpen: Olson, Flanagan, Mesa, Ballard, Milacki.
Bench: Orsulak OF, Devereaux OF, Hulett 2B, Gomez 3B, McKnight OF.
The thoughtful reader will, of course, realize that everything probably wouldn't have worked out this way, most notably, they might not have been in the position to draft Olson or McDonald. You can't know, however. Perhaps they would have been in such a position. Every team has lean years. In any event, they certainly would have drafted someone. It's really not worth quibbling about; the point is that without those stupid deals from the EBW years the nucleus of the team would still be intact and the Orioles would simply have a vastly better ballclub.
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