Schmuck strikes out in defense of Rose

Regarding Peter Schmuck's commentary of Jan. 8 ["Though he's far from a saint, Rose deserves a seat on high"], I am very disappointed to see another sports reporter disregard the importance of integrity in sport. Without such integrity, any sport is little better than professional wrestling.


It is true that none of the players elected to Cooperstown was perfect.

However, the case of Pete Rose is far different from any of the Hall of Famers. The transgressions committed by some inductees reflect primarily on their private lives, not on the game of baseball.


Gambling is the cardinal sin of sport because it alone reflects on the entire sport. No other rule violation is in the same class. Mr. Rose knew this as well as anyone. He also knew the consequences.

Are we to make an exception just because he was a great hitter? The reason we haven't seen more like him to date is due to the severity and finality of the penalty. If we make an exception here, we can expect to see more players like Rose in the future.

Pete Rose is not bigger than baseball. Once we understand this, there can be no doubt the ban should remain in place forever.

Donald S. Smith Baltimore

Ravens set up well for success in 2004

The Ravens had a remarkable season. Winning 10 games and the AFC North crown with the third-youngest team in the league, and with a rookie quarterback and a journeyman backup with little NFL experience, isn't too shabby.

With eight Pro Bowl players, the NFL's offensive and defensive players of the year, and a 2,000-yard runner, should they have advanced further in the playoffs? Perhaps, and they nearly did. But this never was supposed to be the year the Ravens made a Super Bowl run. Next year was. And, with some help, there is every reason to be optimistic.

Steve Bassett Laurel


Why are QBs of future forgotten with Ravens?

Is there an unwritten rule that once a Ravens quarterback is injured he earns a permanent spot on the sideline once he recovers?

That's what happened to the 2002 and 2003 "quarterbacks of the future" - Chris Redman and Kyle Boller

It seems that coach Brian Billick, the "offensive genius," is more comfortable with "has-been" and "never-was" rejects from other teams.

What's the next move - draft another quarterback this spring and treat him the same way?

Ted Lingelbach Parkville


Why did Triplette work Ravens' game?

The NFL as an organization realizes that the motives of players and referees must be beyond reproach.

In this light, how in heaven's name did the powers that be assign a group of referees, led by Jeff Triplette, to the Ravens-Titans game?

For those with a short memory, Triplette was the gentleman who threw the flag into Orlando Brown's eye in 1999.

Whether or not there remains any hostility or bias between Brown and Triplette is irrelevant. The appearance of bias or resentment resulting from two penalties called against Brown in Saturday's game will live long after the final whistle.

Edward Bielarski Jr. Allentown, Pa.


Cavanaugh to blame for offensive failures

Matt Cavanaugh should be fired as offensive coordinator of the Ravens.

As usual, the team's defense played its heart out only to be disappointed by an ineffective offense in the playoff loss to the Titans.

Jamal Lewis, the league's leading rusher, gets 14 carries, and Anthony Wright has 37 pass attempts. And Jamal is known for wearing down defenses in the third and fourth quarters.

Cavanaugh went into his panic mode and gave up on the run way too early. There is no excuse, and Cavanaugh should be held accountable.

It's a shame to waste so much talent (eight Pro Bowl players) with an offense that lacks discipline and the ability to score.


Chris Blyth Baltimore

Billick's lame defense of Cavanaugh laughable

Brian Billick's defense of Matt Cavanaugh is laughable ["Billick defends Ravens' offense," Jan. 7]. Rather than prove how Cavanaugh has done a good job, Billick simply criticizes the critics.

I have one simple question for Billick: If Cavanaugh is such a good coach, despite what the numbers show, then why aren't other NFL teams asking for permission to interview him?

David Miller Baltimore

R. Lewis' antics can't be condoned


I was completely disgusted with the rantings of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis on television before the playoff game with the Titans.

His thuggish portrayal had me rooting against the team. I even got the feeling the rest of the team was distancing themselves from this buffoonery.

I think this hurts the Ravens in the eyes of the rest of the country. How the NFL OK'd this spot is beyond me. Don't they know how many young kids are watching these games?

Harry Woolford Memphis, Tenn.