With opinion, Preston simply doing his job

It seems like every week somebody wants to bash Sun sports columnist Mike Preston for doing his job. Most recently, one letter writer questioned his qualifications to write about Brian Billick's coaching judgment, because that writer was questioning Mike's qualifications to offer an opinion on this topic ["Preston is way off base in bashing of Billick," Sept. 7].

My understanding of Mr. Preston's job is that he is supposed to offer informed opinion. His job is not to just report the sports news, such as "Ravens lose to Pittsburgh again and again."

Let's see. To quiet the vocal local fans, Preston could write something like: "Billick and [Matt] Cavanaugh's offensive genius is put off another week by the cheating Steelers defense and unfair referees. Not running the ball is still a good offensive strategy, and I think Jamal Lewis may not be up to running the ball 20 times a game."

Or, Preston could opine: "The Ravens' defense should get used to spending most of the game on the field. Why aren't they in better shape?"

It would be like reading Pravda - the state-run "newspaper" of the former Soviet Union. Do we really want to hear this kind of propaganda? It would be rather mundane.

Thank you, Mike Preston, for your informed opinion.

Don't be put off by guys who lose their better judgment in the tailgating lot.

David Buttner Baltimore

Same old game plan foils Ravens again

After watching the Ravens-Steelers season-opening game, I have one thing to say: Thank God, we have an "offensive genius" coaching the team.

Of course, I'm being facetious.

It was the same old game plan, nothing new. If a "dummy" such as myself finds the Ravens painfully predictable, what are the chances that guys like Bill Cowher will miss it?

Swing, screen and 2-yard pass plays just don't get it done. And, starting rookie Kyle Boller at quarterback took the cake. Chris Redman was never given a chance to develop under Billick, he wasn't played enough to help him gain confidence and get comfortable at the helm.

And, where was the vaunted defense? It didn't show up until the second half and then with something quite less than a vengeance.

The Ravens have no offensive line to speak of, as Jonathan Ogden and Edwin Mulitalo can't do it all. Boller spent much of the afternoon running for his life.

Maybe the new owner will take a close look at his "offensive genius." A re-evaluation of the coaching position is called for.

Bob Di Stefano Abingdon

Hargrove hasn't gotten the chance to succeed

Let me get this straight. The same two geniuses who brought the Orioles Omar Daal and Rick Helling and who traded Sidney Ponson and Jeff Conine are the people who are going to decide the fate of manager Mike Hargrove?

Hargrove deserves to be brought back as manager by vice presidents Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan.

Hargrove has been given teams that at best were overloaded with a collection of scrap-heap veterans and inexperienced talent, with a few good players. The teams he was given never had a chance of being contenders, let alone winners.

Rumor has it that the Orioles are willing to spend some big bucks to bring in quality players over the winter. It would be nice to see what Hargrove could do with a team that has a chance to win and contend.

Jim Brewer Glenwood

Hypocrisy abounds in field hockey issue

I was both inspired and disheartened upon reading the article in the sports section Sept. 6, following the plight of two high school boys who chose to play on the girls field hockey team ["Meade brothers not skirting issue"].

Although it is encouraging to find two young individuals who are secure enough in their own respective identities to pursue a non-traditional extracurricular activity and not bend to the collective will of peer taunting, I was somewhat disgusted by the quoted response of one young lady who suggested that this sport should be reserved only for girls.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why it is always regarded as some act of heroism when a female athlete - high school, college, professional or otherwise - attempts to "invade" a world of traditionally male-dominated sports (female high school wrestlers, Annika Sorenstam, etc.), and yet when a young man attempts to cross widely adhered-to gender boundaries, the same women who might otherwise laud such efforts cry foul.

Forgetting the fact that the often-cited and rarely followed Title IX legislation was designed for just such a circumstance, regardless of the gender of the athlete, I am always disgusted by the hypocrisy that tends to surround men who strive for unusual accomplishments of this type.

To the girl who commented that she is concerned about men dominating the sport, my answer would be "learn to play better."

Jason S. Spiegelman Baltimore

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