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Sunday, February 11, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Backtalk

What readers are saying

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Mariners

Unload some arms, Pat

For years, the Mariners rushed young pitchers to the majors and threw them into the rotation before they were ready. Now, their problem is the opposite: Their young pitchers are stacked so deep that they never get the chance to prove themselves. As a result, their talents go largely wasted.

Pat Gillick's made some great signings as general manager, but this year, he's been far too passive after signing Ichiro. If they want to contend, the Mariners are going to have to offer some of their current starters. Freddy García, Gil Meche and Ryan Anderson should be off limits, but all the rest of our current starters and minor-league pitching prospects should be made available to anyone if we can get quality hitters in return.

Otherwise our pitching is going to be stacked up so deep that our young pitchers will never have a chance to play, and those who do break into the rotation won't have the runs to win.

Paul Loeb, West Seattle

Paul Rogat Loeb, Seattle

XFL

So, you want civility, do you?

In his scathing commentary on the XFL debut, Les Carpenter('X' marks its spot, Feb. 4) called the event an end to "civility" and then proceeded to poke and jab at the city of Las Vegas and people who live in trailer parks, drink beer and enjoy wrestling.

I can only assume that the reason Mr. Carpenter was so brutal in his defense of "civility" is because he has become as arrogant as the NFL. Maybe the XFL does resemble "Animal House" more than the Harvard Law Library, and maybe gouging fans with high-priced tickets will keep the "trailer trash" element from embarrassing the NFL.

If you want civility on Sunday, Mr. Carpenter, turn the channel to your favorite TV evangelist and hope he won't be "breaking news" on Monday.

Linda Gregory, Bothell

Coverage was waste of space

Last Sunday you wasted untold inches of space "covering" the debut of the XFL. These pieces were universally negative. Why did you bother? There are two "extreme" and arguably more nail-biting events going on that I have yet to see mentioned.

In the Atlantic Ocean, a 23-year-old Briton is breathing down the neck of the leader in the Vendee Globe round-the-world sailboat race. After 20,000-plus miles, she is only 73 miles behind and has had to face dramatic challenges almost daily. It's perfect action to be covered in a daily newspaper.

At the same time, "The Race" of six high-tech, high-speed catamarans around the world has been under way since New Year's Eve. Other than a brief article about the start, you have ignored it, even though there have been daily turns of events.

Seattle has a large sailing community, and with two local America's Cup challengers gearing up for the competition in 2003, I'm sure interest will be building. Don't waste valuable space on a flash-in-the-pan league when you have such "real" material on which to report.

Brian Tetreault, Seattle

Send us your backtalk

Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: sports@seattletimes.com.

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