Being a native Baltimorean, I am, like my friends and neighbors, an extremely proud Baltimore Ravens fan. Their hasty deconstruction left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of many fans ("New Texan bids us farewell," March 23). We have collectively learned over the years that professional sports have morphed from a mode of entertainment for the masses to big business that monetarily draws from the masses. But still we seek diversions in our cramped lifestyles that are a truly a form of escapism.

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After many years of utter frustration of rooting for Orioles teams that strove for mediocrity, everything clicked last year. For the first time in many years, the O's were winning unexpected games and were on the covers of national sports magazines. Despite the spate of injuries in spring training this season I believe the team will equal (or perhaps best) last season's success. Bob Melvin of the Oakland A's won the AL Manager of the Year award last season. Mr. Showalter was interviewed and praised Mr. Melvin's selection. I believe Mr. Showalter could have cared less about the award as he is much too devoted a man to nitpick about personal awards.

The Orioles' season is fast approaching. Ravens guys and girls have to reach deep into their closets and dust off their Palmer, Ripken, Hagy, and Robinson jerseys (and tees) and come see a master (Manager Showalter) and his minions perform on the diamond. The O's past season is an amazing story that reads like fiction. I urge everyone to go see an outdoor performance this spring or summer. Baseball giddiness is back. You will fully approve of what you see. As the guy in the commercial used to boast, "I guarantee it."

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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