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Sunday, January 11, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Backtalk

What readers are saying about Hedges, Mariners

Barbara Hedges

It was time to go

Barbara Hedges did a good job of building facilities but did a poor job of hiring coaches. She needed to step down this year after all the investigations.

Bob Gulrajani, Puyallup

Weigh whole record

To properly judge her tenure, you need to look at her entire tenure, not just the last year or so. Graduation rates are up, there has been an unprecedented fund-raising and facilities program, and all sports play at a highly competitive level. Despite the current rash of issues, she has done a great deal for the university and the athletic department.

David Marriott, Seattle

Clinton-esque legacy

Her legacy will be similar to Bill Clinton's, a spin master who hid poor performance and issues that ended in total embarrassment to the university which will take years to recover.

George Jackson, Richland

Mariners

Cirillo out of touch

Blaine Newnham's column (Seattle Times, Jan. 8) on fiscal responsibility couldn't have been more "on the money."

Jeff Cirillo's reaction of disgust over anybody suggesting he take a pay cut made me physically ill. A guy who plays as terribly as Jeff, and at the same time somehow thinks he's worth the millions he is getting, is the kind of guy who has ruined baseball. Jeff is so rich and spoiled, he's clearly lost touch with what it means to actually earn a living.

Mikal Canfield, Napavine

Sonics

Centers of controversy

Arena-sized group-therapy sessions may be necessary to come to grips with the fact that $15 million will be spent this year on three "Jeff Cirillos" attempting to play center for the Sonics.

Watch these guys closely sometime when they're not strapped to the bench. If you found Jeff to be inept at his chosen sport, Calvin Booth, Jerome James and Vitaly Potapenko will astound you. Soon you'll find yourself longing for the agony of Tommy Burleson, Tim McCormick, Jim McIlvaine, Ervin Johnson, Vladimir Stepania, Jelani McCoy, Patrick Ewing, Vin Baker or maybe even the guy we traded Scottie Pippen for, Olden Polynice.

Is anyone else ready to admit the Sonics' "center" quagmire makes the Mariners' Cirillo debacle look like a joyride?

Paul Nickels, Seattle

Seahawks

Hasselbeck on target

Let no one say Matt Hasselbeck "jinxed" our game with hubris when he said, "We want the ball and we're gonna' score!" My wife and I let out a whoop of emotion when he made that pronouncement because we felt the same way!

We believed it because that is what the Seahawks have given us this year: hope, faith, something to cheer about. All the pieces are there, and darn it, we won 10 games this year! We went toe-to-toe with the Packers, in Green Bay, in January and we nearly pulled it out. If you're going to lose a football game, there are a lot worse ways to go down.

Thank you, Seahawks. You gave this city one hell of a show!

Jonathan Becker, Seattle

Fighting words

Nice verbal move, Matt Hasselbeck. On the overtime coin toss, did you have to say that? That was the Green Bay equivalent of Bush's Iraqi crack, "Bring 'em on."

J. Scott Taylor, Everett

A team on the verge

The Seahawks, especially Matt Hasselbeck, are one of the most exciting sports stories of the year. They have been perfect at home and not only broke the glass door to the playoffs, but had every bit the talent to go to the big one.

Sure, Mike Holmgren's first few years have been disappointing, but now that he is concentrating on coaching, along with promising rookies, the addition of Ray Rhodes and the development of the young receivers, a team that barely showed up on the radar screen for the past 15-odd years is now a whisker hair away from winning all of its fans back.

A little tinkering with the defense, and I think our long-awaited Super Bowl is in the offing.

Mike Barer, Maple Valley

Compassion for game

As the triumphant fans poured out of the stadium in Green Bay last Sunday, I know there was one family who must have felt just a little bit of compassion for Seattle's loss. A mom and a dad, with two young boys, who watched the game from Matt Hasselbeck's luxury box — the one he donated to families of children with cancer.

Mary Kay Lynch, Green Bay, Wis.

Pete Rose

Make him wait

It took Pete Rose 14 years to admit to betting on baseball. I think the baseball powers that be should take just as long to consider his reinstatement. The clock starts ticking now.

Kevin Opel, Everett

Send us your backtalk

Letters bearing true names, and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Letters are subject to editing. Mail: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, PO Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail: sports@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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