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Sunday, April 8, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Backtalk

What readers are saying

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MARINERS

A turnabout for A-Rod is fair play

Put a hex on A-Rod (Backtalk, April 1)? Wish him well outside of Seattle? I think we are being far too charitable. After the way he has acted (like a spoiled child) he deserves reciprocal treatment.

I don't begrudge Pay-Rod his big salary. If someone offered one of us a quarter billion to move to another city and do our present job there, most of us would take that in a heartbeat.

If it was just about the money, and it was for Pay-Rod, I would have no complaints about him. But Pay-Rod couldn't just leave it that.

The final straw for me was when he put on a Rangers uniform and stated he hoped everyone would remember him as a Ranger. Translation: the hell with Seattle.

Pay-Rod turned his back on Seattle. Not with his contract or money, but with his attitude and words. I would suggest a demonstration is in order, that we return the favor.

When the Rangers come to play at Safeco, every time Pay-Rod is announced, whether before the game, coming to bat, or whenever, I say we all stand up and turn our backs to the field (be sure to peek every once in a while so you don't take a foul to the skull).

Perhaps Pay-Rod will get the message, it's OK to move on, but not to turn on your fans. Excuse me, former fans.

Tom Pacher, Mukilteo

Like, don't worry about it

"So, like you know, that Alex and Emerald broke up. And that he left her. Well, it's like, oh my God, Emmy is just obsessin' over him. She said she was gonna hound him for a while, an' see what he's up to.

"You know she just wants to see him crash, and wish he could come back to her. It's like so weird, cause it's not like she hasn't been dumped before.

"I swear Emmy is freakin' out. She's got like, maybe 25 other guys who would kill for her, but she freakin' over Alex. She's gonna be in the same place as him soon. What she needs to do, is to pretend, like, you know, like she doesn't even know him. Like she's all polite, but like she's like, `Hi, I think I know you' but you know be all cool and stuff. This obsessin' has got to go. I mean, get a life girl!

Donna Dziak, Seattle

A whole new ballgame

Take me out to the ball game;

Please pay, for crying out loud;

No money for peanuts or Cracker Jack;

All I got left is the shirt on my back;

Cuz it's loot, loot, loot for the home team;

The money they make is a shame;

'Cuz it's one, two, three loans I need;

For the ol' ball game!

Ronald L. Unger, Bellevue

Now, that's striking!

It's about time baseball has gone back to the "pure" strike zone of the rule book. What with the short fences and juiced ball they have cheapened the performance of the players.

Today's statistics cannot be compared with the stats of players of the Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Williams eras when the game was governed by the rules and not TV.

The quote from umpire supervisor Ed Vargo really set me off.

How did the umpires manage to accurately call the pitches of Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax (among others) who threw at the (almost) 100 mph speed? If today's umpires have to rely on "instinct and experience," perhaps it is time to go to electronic umpiring and video replays.

Franklin Billera, Greenbank

Where's the loyalty to fans?

Recently my wife and I visited the Mariners' training camp in Peoria. The players are supposed to be more accessible to the fans at training camp. That is not necessarily the case.

While many of the rookies and a couple of the better known players like Paul Abbott and Dan Wilson, took time to talk to the fans or sign autographs, the "big stars" such as Edgar Martínez, Jamie Moyer and Jay Buhner couldn't be bothered.

What these overpaid people don't seem to understand, or perhaps they don't care, is that the people they are snubbing, are the same people that pay for the tickets and merchandise that allow the owners to pay them their outrageous salaries.

After the strike in the mid-1990s, it took a long time for the fans to return. With another potential strike looming, they would be smart to try to build as much fan loyalty as they can.

Skip Fowler, Kennewick

HIGH SCHOOLS

Metro metaphor for all schools

The story about Bainbridge High School joining the Metro League (Times, April 2) had a tidbit of whimsy (the expectation of lopsided victories by the boys and girls from across the sound at the expense of the impoverished mainlanders), but it also underscores the confusion I experience whenever I search for my alma mater's scores and standings in the newspaper.

The old stalwarts of public school ball have all but disappeared, replaced by newly enriched private prep powers.

Your story only hinted at the fact that the fortunes of the haves and have-nots in today's Metro League is a metaphor (or several metaphors) for the present state of education in the U.S. Of course, this is nothing new.

Over the last century, the prosperity of my old school, Renton High, followed the fortunes of the immediate community, i.e. the Boeing Company. I hope that the Metro League and Renton's citizens have nothing to worry about.

Lenard Garrett, Jersey City, N.J.

Send us your backtalk

Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. 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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