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Baseball hurt by lack of competitive balance

Twenty-five years ago, I considered myself an avid baseball fan, and Baltimore was a baseball town. During a normal season, my friends and I attended at least a dozen games.

The Orioles put a team on the field that competed for the pennant well into the fall. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

Over the past 25 years, the dynamics of major league baseball have changed, and Baltimore is a football town again.

During the recent past, there have been aberrations like the Twins and the Athletics, but teams in most major league baseball markets realize they have no chance of competing for a title. They simply do not have the financial wherewithal to compete with large-market franchises.

Even with the roster additions the Orioles have made for this season, a fourth-place finish is probable.

The New York Yankees' trade for Alex Rodriguez is symptomatic of the problems occurring in baseball. The players' union has become too strong an entity, seemingly dictating where a player will be playing. Moreover, baseball's hierarchy seems oblivious to what is occurring.

With its competitive balance, is it any wonder pro football is now king?

Lou Fritz Baltimore

Rodriguez to Yankees is good for baseball

I am so tired of the whining about the Alex Rodriguez trade.

Grow up. Everyone hates a crybaby. The Yankees are the Yankees. Deal with it.

There's no guaranteed champion come October. See Florida Marlins, Anaheim Angels, etc.

This is good for baseball. Either you love the Yankees or you hate them. There is no in between. I'll bet Orioles season-ticket holders actually attend games this year instead of selling seats to Yankees fans.

A star like A-Rod shouldn't languish in Texas playing for a last-place team. He should shine with the best and allow fans to cheer or boo at their discretion.

The excitement when the Yankees come to visiting ballparks will be incredible. How exciting will the Yankees-Red Sox games be? I get goose bumps thinking about it.

Jeffrey Mariner Phoenix

There's nothing wrong with column on dogs

I found Laura Vecsey's column about the Chesapeake Bay retriever ["Cheering on Chesapeake Bay retriever to be top dog," Feb. 9] to be informative and enlightening.

Despite a reader's complaint last week, I feel the Chessie does deserve a write-up in the sports section.

This breed is a sportsman's delight and a wonderful family dog as well. Personally, I'm a little tired of reading about the Orioles, Ravens and Michael Phelps.

I would love to see a follow-up on the beagle, one of the sportsman's favorite dogs.

David Boyd White Hall

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