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Only game in townAlthough I have only...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Only game in town

Although I have only recently moved to the Baltimore area, I have learned one lesson rather quickly. You will be an Orioles fan -- whether you want to or not!

When the NBA playoffs signed off a couple Saturdays ago, Bob " Costas said "Be sure to join us for our doubleheader tomorrow." He should have qualified that remark with "except in Baltimore."

While the rest of the country was able to watch Michael Jordan soar to a 33-point performance in the playoffs, the locals were forced to watch the Orioles drop their second game in three days to the Yankees.

And, so I ask, why does a major network like NBC allow its local affiliate to be the official Orioles station? In Philadelphia, for example, Phillies games are televised by an independent station.

Scott B. Becker

Owings Mills

Ripken not whole team

I, like so many other Orioles fans, hope Cal Ripken Jr. stays in Baltimore after this season. But should he decide to play baseball elsewhere, so be it. I have been an Orioles fan for 30 years and intend to remain one whether Ripken is here or playing baseball in another city.

If Ripken decides to play baseball elsewhere, someone will move in to take his place at shortstop. That happens all the time when players retire, are traded or elect to sign with another team at the end of their contracts.

Winning is a team effort, and I think Eli Jacobs will attempt to field a winning team with or without Ripken. With the amount of money Ripken is worth these days, you could get two or three quality players. So, as I see it, there will still be baseball in Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1993, with or without No. 8.

Jeffrey Humphreys

Baltimore

Bad decision

I am greatly dismayed by the unprecedented decision of the Baltimore Department of Public Works to close the watershed reservoirs to trailered boat use. No other state, including those that have identified the zebra mussel within their borders, has closed its lakes to boat traffic.

No reasonable person wishes to threaten the drinking water for 1.5 million people. Although mussel "hitchhiking" on trailered boats has been targeted as the prime mechanism for spread, other uncontrollable methods of transmission are believed possible, including live bait use and waterfowl. Restricting all trailered boat traffic from our reservoirs would eliminate the most likely source, but not all sources, of potential mussel infestation.

This problem could have been better addressed through education of boaters coupled with a controlled restriction of boat use. Fishermen would be given a choice; launch your boat in the restricted watershed or launch elsewhere, but not both. Daily permits would be eliminated. Annual registration fees would be raised for reservoir permits to cover the costs of a mandatory zebra mussel education program, as well as the costs of increased enforcement by the DPW and Department of Natural Resources. Failure to comply with these restrictions would result in immediate confiscation of boat and trailer.

Unfortunately, the recent DPW decision treats boaters as the villain, not the zebra mussel. The potential concern is not with boaters who use the Baltimore watershed, but with boaters who also use areas outside of it. All fishing in the watershed is powered by electric motor. The number of electric-powered boats that would be trailered to other states for fishing purposes is small, as most waters worth traveling to are large public lakes and rivers, where gas-powered boats are necessary. Without guarantees that halting boat traffic will stop the infestation of the zebra mussel, the recent DPW decision punishes responsible users of the Baltimore watershed for fear of those unconscionable few who would knowingly abuse our water system. With appropriate restrictions, protection from the spread the zebra mussel can be accomplished without removal of our public recreational privileges.

Robert J. Brumback

Phoenix

Big enough for you?

George Schruefer of Abingdon wrote a letter to The Sun (April 26) saying he was disappointed that the Orioles did not hire a "big name" to perform the national anthem on Opening Day. Perhaps Mr. Schruefer is unaware that the Orioles intended the opening of the new stadium to be a celebration for Baltimore and what this city can accomplish.

In Baltimore, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Morgan State University choir indeed qualify as "big names." Because Elvis is still dead and Wayne Newton is always booked solid, one wonders just whom Mr. Schruefer had in mind.

Mr. Schruefer's idea of allowing all Republican and Democratic candidates to throw a first pitch in the interest of "equal time" was just plain silly, and I have to wonder if he was serious in making such a suggestion. The president's appearance at the game was strictly ceremonial, and had nothing to do with politics.

Steve Scheinberg

Towson

Levine not missed

I don't miss Ken "The Pen" Levine broadcasting the play-by-play of the Orioles games this season. He might have had a sense of humor, but he didn't have a broadcasting voice. It is something like, if one could imagine, Tiny Tim belting out Ernie Ford's "16 Tons."

I'd much rather listen to Chuck Thompson, even if he has a cold.

Tom Conroy

Catonsville

How about the game?

I agree with criticism of the broadcasters on the Orioles telecasts. They missed Billy Ripken's bunt the other day because they are always talking about everything but the game.

They were talking about their subway ride and Brooks Robinson's ring, signing autographs and other things. Pitch after pitch went by, and no mention was made. They seem to talk about everything but the game.

Charles J. Lukoski

Baltimore

Cooke a brat

The recent outburst by Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, threatening to move his team to Baltimore to play in Memorial Stadium, was nothing but a ploy to get his way for the city of Washington to build him his new stadium under his conditions.

I hate to say it, because I am a Redskins fan, but Mr. Cooke is acting like a spoiled brat like some other owners we know (Al Davis, Bob Irsay and Bill Bidwill) who didn't get their way and packed up and moved to other cities. I don't agree on giving in to these type of owners just to satisfy their needs for their new sky boxes in their new stadiums.

But speaking as a resident of a city that knows what it's like to lose its football team, I say Washington should build the sky boxes or whatever Cooke wants for his new stadium. Because they'll never know they've lost a good thing until after it's gone.

Thomas P. Jones

Baltimore

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