Take racing in new direction
I would like to address the issue of the racing industry in Maryland. As a fan of racing for more than 30 years, I have witnessed the past five years with mixed emotions. In 1988 we lost Freestate Raceway, and the harness industry is gone from central Maryland.
The thoroughbreds were the only game in the Baltimore. They have a higher minimum bet, a concern for the $2 bettor. The De Francis family, for better or worse, was controlling the direction for the state's racing industry. That direction now tells us that the best thing to do is to get summertime racing totally out of Maryland.
Only two racing facilities have regularly scheduled racing during the summer. Maybe we should consider building another track and let someone else own it besides the De Francis family. There are beautiful new tracks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and of course there is the Colonial Downs proposal. The industry needs another boost in this difficult economic climate.
The way to build our state racing industry is not to give it away to Virginia. Marylanders should not have to travel to another state to watch their racing industry work. Let's explore the ways we can add to the industry and encourage growth in our borders before we pack it up and give it to another state, because the De Francis interests are best served with that course of action.
Theodore W. Frank Jr.
Congratulations on the pickup of Harold Reynolds by the Orioles. I am attending college in Baltimore, but my permanent home is in Seattle. I was one of many fans in Seattle who was upset to see Reynolds go. We all knew that we were not only losing a great baseball player, but also one of the greatest citizens of our community. The Super Bowl party he threw is just one example of the great things that he will do for this community.
Moving from the home of the Kingdome, I thought the biggest beauty in Baltimore was Camden Yards. After picking up a new second baseman, I think that the Orioles have found something as big as Camden Yards -- Reynolds' heart.
Cheers for Chuck Thompson
Baltimore is very proud of our latest inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame broadcasters wing. How many of us got our introductions to our favorite sports through Chuck Thompson's broadcasts? His great achievements deserve to be recognized, and while it is long overdue, we were confident that one day he would be elected to the Hall of Fame.
In listening to the accolades and tributes coming to Thompson over the radio, one can truly appreciate his great voice and his long tradition of excellence and professionalism. He would be the last person to agree that he merits induction. His humility and gentlemanly manner are part of what makes him so special.
Bad Bullets management
I am and have been for many years a Baltimore/Washington Bullets fan. I don't question the desire Wes Unseld has to winning. I do, however, question management's commitment.
I believe that all parties should be held accountable. I questiothe supposed "rebuilding with youth" statements we have been subjected to during the same time period teams like the NFL's Cowboys have gone from worst to the Super Bowl. I feel the real problem goes all the way to the owner. Abe Pollin has let star after star go by. Moses Malone and Bernard King are just two of the latest.
Also, I will never understand the team's recent draft history. How can Unseld or general manager John Nash justify the Michael Adams trade of couple years back, after the Bullets had let him go two years before? First, he wasn't good enough. Then, he goes to Denver and shows he is. The Bullets then trade another draft choice to get him back. I can't help but wonder how much payroll has to do with it.
Another great example is last year's draft. The Bullets didn't try to trade up to get the likes of Alonzo Mourning, who played for Georgetown and would have been a good fit to the style of play Unseld demands, while also being a local favorite.
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