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Selig should toughen drug-testing program

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig's token drug-testing plan will be about as effective as chasing a gorilla with a butterfly net. Even an alert donkey knows that the players' association is the real force controlling Major League Baseball.

Bud Selig, wake up! You now have the Feds on your side. President Bush's appeal to team owners and players to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs creates the perfect window of opportunity to put some teeth into your feeble drug-testing program, which everybody knows panders to the players' union.

Tough problems require tough solutions. Selig should show some leadership and quickly respond to the president's call. Propose a mandatory one-year suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense, then let union leader Donald Fehr, et al, sweat.

It's doubtful that a majority of players would find the comfort level necessary to support striking against a program intended to enhance the credibility of their profession.

Those blessed with the talent to play the game and be enriched by it also need to take some responsibility for its future. It's high time for a few influential star players to step up to the plate and support a drug-testing program with severe consequences, rather than one intended to preserve the careers of users.

Bob Hauk Easton

Ravens should pass on signing T. Owens

It's obvious to everyone that the Ravens' passing game needs improvement. But will signing high-priced and high-maintenance receiver Terrell Owens help the Ravens?

For starters, Owens demands the ball. He shares a common interest among "me-first" receivers. The Ravens are not a selfish team. Coach Billick would not allow them to be selfish, and neither would Ray Lewis.

Adding Owens would just add pressure on whoever is quarterback next season to throw to him, and would possibly take away carries from Jamal Lewis.

Secondly, the Ravens do not need to give a huge contract to Owens and have him whine.

Go out and use the extra salary cap money on a punt returner or a right tackle. Draft a receiver or find a lesser-name receiver and groom him into a No. 1 receiver.

Owens can stay in San Francisco and cry about not getting the ball all he wants, as long as he doesn't come to Baltimore.

Andrew Gothelf Owings Mills

Colts still afflicted by the Irsay Curse

It's time to start talking about the Irsay Curse.

Bob Irsay moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in March 1984. Twenty years and counting, and they still haven't made it to the Super Bowl.

This year the Colts celebrated the franchise's 50 years in the NFL. Did you see the "1953" logo on coach Tony Dungy's jacket during the AFC championship game? They just don't get it.

Indianapolis probably will still be wondering 50 years from now why it can't win anything.

But maybe by then they'll figure it out. They'll say it's the Irsay Curse.

Frank Morgan Towson

Rose's punishment is fitting for his offense

While many may argue that some of the current members of the Baseball Hall of Fame have less-than-respectable records as far as ethics, morals and even convictions for crimes, there is a major difference for Pete Rose.

For example, while Babe Ruth was a notorious womanizer, Ty Cobb a racist and other baseball players who are in the Hall of Fame convicted drug users, their sins did not involve the possibility that their actions might change the outcome of the game.

Rose by his own admission bet on the Cincinnati Reds while he was their manager. This action was reminiscent of the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919, when individual players affected the outcome of the World Series.

Even the great Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was peripherally involved, was banned from baseball for life and barred from entering or even being considered for the Hall of Fame.

Rose, perhaps in lesser degree, has committed the same offense. The punishment preventing him from becoming a Hall of Famer is just and should not be reconsidered.

Nelson Marans Silver Spring

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