Don't mess with JohnsonI have been a...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Don't mess with Johnson

I have been a die-hard Orioles fan for 36 years. I am now at the crossroads as to whether I should stay an Orioles fan. Since Peter Angelos became owner, he has done an excellent job of putting a winning team on the field. Angelos, Pat Gillick and Kevin Malone should be commended for their work.

However, once again it is October and the Orioles are not in the World Series. Though I am disappointed, I am not going to jump out my office window. We have a good team with a great manager. We had a very good year. Yet Angelos is again playing "let's hang the manager out to dry." While most organizations wish for this kind of success from a manager, Angelos can't even give him a vote of confidence.

Davey Johnson is a winner. I pay good money to see a winning team. Angelos should stop acting like a confrontational lawyer and start acting like a proud owner. Do the right thing and bring Johnson back. Give him an extension on his contract. If Angelos has to play this game with the manager every October, save the stamp on my season tickets.

John J. Darlington

Baltimore

Angelos no expert

I am a more than a little concerned about rumblings of Davey Johnson's demise on the horizon. Peter Angelos, as owner, does have the right to change managers at his discretion. However, being a labor lawyer does not make him or his sons baseball authorities. He has perhaps the best front office in baseball with Pat Gillick and Kevin Malone and without a doubt the best field manager in the game today (check the record books).

Let them do the job they were hired to do.

Angelos' first manager was Phil Regan (Remember him?), and he hired Regan over Johnson. Luckily for us, Johnson was available the following year and didn't hold a grudge over not being selected in '95. Johnson has been here for two seasons and has only led the team to its first back-to-back ALCS appearances since the early '70s. Johnson learned his craft from Earl Weaver and can deliver this city a championship, given the chance. Continuity is a good thing.

Angelos needs to follow, believe it or not, Ted Turner's example when it comes to baseball. Let the men who know the business do their jobs. Rest assured, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz will not be fired because the Braves didn't make the World Series.

Joe Neuheimer

Perry Hall

Postseason musings

It wasn't supposed to be this way. The ALCS was supposed to be fairly easy for the Orioles. Unfortunately, an arsenal of bad calls, rowdy fans and silly mistakes allowed Cleveland to represent the American League in the World Series.

I read an article in The Sun's Oct. 14 "Orioles Extra" regarding Cleveland pitcher Orel Hershiser. It disappoints me to know that a cheater is able to win so many vital games. Another thing that irked me was the Fox commentators' obvious favoritism toward the Indians, and this was reflected in every game.

In regard to the 15-strikeout game by Mike Mussina, Fox's announcers credited his feat to the sun being in the eyes of the batters. I grew tired of hearing so much about the Indians and nothing about the Orioles. The nicest comment about the Orioles concerned Camden Yards. I thought network broadcasters were supposed to be impartial.

oren Phillips

Sykesville

Camden fans cost O's

After watching the ALCS, I could blame many problems for the Orioles' disappointing series. However, I was more ashamed of the support given by Orioles fans at Camden Yards.

Fans at Yankee Stadium last year and fans in Jacobs Field this year were amazing. They roared, hollered, applauded and cheered every strike thrown, every base hit, every run scored. The Orioles had a chance to recapture the momentum heading home for Game 6, and the fans did not come close to the raucous crowd in Cleveland. That support may have been the difference in the game, considering the Orioles left 14 on base. Worst of all, I feel awful for Mike Mussina and Cal Ripken, who only gave the performance of their lives. Too bad we couldn't return the favors, guys. You deserved it.

James Reid

Greenville, S.C.

Why not have parade?

On Thursday, Oct. 16, the Orioles organization declined an invitation by the city to hold a parade or rally to close the 1997 baseball season. In my opinion, this was an unfortunate decision.

It is unconscionable to permit the season's denouement to overshadow the season as a whole. By denying fans a final rally, we are cheated forever of the opportunity to thank these players for an exhilarating, crazy, bittersweet but spectacular year.

The Sun headline read, "Ballclub says rally not earned this year." My only question is -- not earned by whom?

Alicia Walters Baltimore O's are OK

Yes, the Orioles could have done some things differently to win the ALCS, but they didn't. So, we are stuck with them, and stuck with them we want to be. Let's start cheering them on for next season. Peter Angelos, don't make any hasty decisions. We like the Orioles the way they are.

Phil Brendel

Baltimore

Unhappy ending

1-0 in the 11th? That's it? After all the nail-biting innings in front of the TV watching the Orioles squander opportunity after opportunity; watching Davey Johnson's tunnel vision get narrower with each game; waiting and waiting for someone, anyone to step up and ignite the team; watching the pitchers carry the team again and again with no support; it ends with a whimper?

Pamela L. Hunt

York, Pa.

What more from Mussina?

I am really depressed by the efforts of Mike Mussina. I would think he would be concerned about the outcome of the Orioles' final playoff game by doing more. He could have sold hot dogs and been in the stands. He could have prepared the other players by wrapping their ankles and knees. He could have led the cheering from the dugout roof, or in the aisles. He could have managed the team better than the present manager. He could have offered himself as a pinch hitter when the Orioles got on base many times.

Doesn't this guy care? Sure, he pitched a one-hit shutout, but we

needed more -- and he wasn't there.

Bill Wilson

Catonsville

Stewart vs. Bradshaw

A story that appeared recently in your sports section suggested that Kordell Stewart might be the man to make Steelers fans forget Terry Bradshaw.

That prediction bears further examination, particularly in regard to any misconception it might generate about Steelers fans. Football is to Western Pennsylvania as lacrosse is to Baltimore. Its fans are more than mere camp followers. They are connoisseurs. Consequently, they do not easily swallow the revisionist history peddled about the countryside by NFL Hall of Fame promoters and young sportswriters.

Those of us who go back far enough to remember Ted Marchibroda wearing black and gold also recall that in those heady seasons in the 1970s, the only time we were nervous was when Bradshaw had his hands on the ball. We prayed that he would get off the field without screwing something up so that the defense could get onto the field and accomplish something. (OK, that's too harsh. After all, he did hand off behind the best trap-blocking line in the game.)

Kordell Stewart, on the other hand, holds the promise of being the only really great quarterback to have played for the Steelers, inasmuch as Bobby Layne had gone 'round the bend by the time he found his way to the Iron City. If the Steelers organization is able to provide a proper supporting cast in the face of the profligate spending in the NFL, the best Steelers team -- one on which the offense is more than an adjunct to the defense -- may be in the near future.

Tom James

Reisterstown

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Pub Date: 10/26/97

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