Schmuck hits homer on Hall

Peter Schmuck said it beautifully in his column ["This day was long overdue for Sutter, this class," Monday] regarding the Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. To quote Mr. Schmuck: "The only thing missing from yesterday's celebration of Negro leagues baseball was a bronze plaque for 94-year-old opening speaker Buck O'Neil, who somehow did not make the final list of inductees." I couldn't have said it better myself.


Mr. Schmuck is to be complimented for not letting a gross injustice go unnoticed.

Joseph Michael Cierniak


Glen Burnie

O's need few pieces to be able to contend

I have to completely agree with Peter Schmuck's assertion ["For Orioles, distance to Yankees not too far," Aug. 4] that the Orioles are not that far off from competing in the AL East and making the postseason. Their young pitching is coming around, and there is a nucleus of good young field players. They are just a couple of seasoned players away from filling in the pieces to the puzzle.

I get tired of some in the media and on the talk shows complaining about Peter Angelos and the front office for not doing anything to win. Our farm system is restocked, and many of those players are almost ready. They have a plan that does not necessarily mean overspending in the free-agent market. However, the Orioles will need to shell out some dollars in the offseason to fill in those pieces. And I think they will. They really are not that far off if they make the right moves.

Phil Bauer

Bel Air

$200M question still unanswered

At the start of every baseball season, baseball fans compare the teams and guess the winners. Veteran analysts know that the season is long and inevitably all teams will have injuries and their share of good and bad luck. Each team hopes that players from the bench and farm system will make contributions when needed.


This year many people thought that $200 million had bought the Yankees a pretty good team. But, as the season progressed, some doubted that these players were really good enough. We all looked forward to finding out whether Jeter, A-Rod, Mussina, Johnson, Giambi, Posada and the rest could show that they were winners. Tragically, we will never know the answer.

Baseball is sick and everyone who loves the game must feel cheated - especially the competitive Yankees players who are being rescued by reinforcements in August before they are tested. Each individual player's contribution pales when compared to the impact of the owner's millions. Meanwhile, the notion that Mr. Torre and Mr. Cashman matter at all must be laughable to the other 29 managers and general managers.

John R. Williams

New York

Blame Angelos for that No. 40

In last week's column of The Flip Side "40 is a rank ranking for Baltimore," Mr. Flip expressed incredulity over The Sporting News' ranking of Baltimore as the 40th-best North American sports city [Aug. 4]. All this mysterious writer had to do to placate his displeasure was to focus in on one of the determinative criteria - "franchise ownership." I guarantee you that Peter Angelos alone kept Baltimore out of the top 10.


Chris R. Buchar


Phelps proves you can win clean

Rick Maese's column on sports doping ["Drug test alibi menu sits ill on stomach," Sunday] gives one a greater appreciation of the accomplishments of Michael Phelps. He is clearly the best swimmer in the world. Perhaps he is the greatest swimmer ever. Yet there has been no hint of drug use on his part. So, it is possible to be clean and great.

Braxton Andrews



This fan isn't ordering playoff tickets yet

Now that the Orioles organization has reached an agreement with the MASN network, the implication has been that they will have the much-needed capital to pursue top-shelf free agents to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees.

Since Mr. Angelos has given us so much lip service (and not much more) in the past regarding team improvements, I'll remain cynical until any free agents they sign are actually standing on emerald field at Camden Yards.

Such is the way of life in the once-hallowed bastion of baseball called Baltimore.

Patrick R. Lynch



Coach McCoach will be missed

Those who were part of the Baltimore County Public Schools sports scene in the '60s, '70s and '80s are truly saddened by the untimely death of Jim McCoach. Coach McCoach was one of a unique and talented group of former Baltimore County public schools student athletes from the 1960s who attended the University of Maryland and went on to teach physical education and establish premier track and field and cross country programs upon their return to BCPS. Among these were Jerry Martin (Hereford grad; Dundalk and Perry Hall), Ed Walker (Catonsville grad; Lansdowne), Ed Bury (Kenwood grad; Catonsville and Milford Mill) and Don Wann (Parkville grad; Parkville).

Jim and Ed Bury, who are cousins, were teammates on the powerful Kenwood teams of the early 1960s and at Maryland as well. Jim established a track dynasty at Dundalk High.

In retrospect, some men in sport are larger than life personalities. Jim was one of those men. He will be remembered for his keen wit, his dedication to athletes (both those on his team and others), his camaraderie with fellow coaches, his coaching expertise and professionalism.

Those who knew and admired him share the pain of his loss.

Dennis Sirman


Long Neck, Del.