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letters to the editor 4/8

April 08, 2002

Making baseball more legitimate


To the editor:

Following numerous discussions with my many NASCAR fan friends, I have concluded that if major league baseball is to become a "fast growing legitimate sport" numerous changes must be implemented.

Changes in rules must be more flexible permitting umpires to make decisions that may be different from yesterday's regulations. The base paths must be lengthened with banked turns permitting players to "go fast and turn left" with increased speeds. The bigger stadiums must require weighted "restriction boots" on all base runners to equalize competition. Teams that have losing records should be permitted to use larger baseballs when batting and golf balls on defense. Lighting at night games will be reduced when a team with three or more consecutive wins comes to bat.

A new structure for determining champions must be developed. Wins and losses will no longer count; the team that scores the most runs in a season will be determined to be the pennant winner thereby making it possible to lose every game and win the championship. Any team that previously won a championship would automatically receive a "provisional entry" to the playoffs regardless of recent success.

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The umpires may decide at any time to conduct the balance of the game under a "yellow caution" condition. When this occurs the players must continue to play the game but no player will be permitted to cross home plate, thereby changing the predetermined finish order of runs scored. During this slow period would be a perfect time to advertise the World Wrestling Federation.

Finally, in an effort to attract more fans, any time bases are loaded and the hitter makes contact with the ball, he will be required to run the bases in reverse. This rule is designed to promote collisions on the banked turns - a certain ticket seller.

NASCAR will be a legitimate sport when Ford dealers start to sell two-door Taurus bodies with 800-horsepower engines. Until then, baseball is, and always will be, America's sport.

Jack E. Haines

Hagerstown




Tobacco is the real killer


To the editor:

In The Morning Herald today, an AP article addressed the fact that the year 2001 had the highest number of airline deaths in 24 years. The number of lives lost was 531.

Tobacco is the number one health problem in America, and each year it kills more than 438,000 people. Compare the numbers - 531 to 438,000. Certainly the airline deaths are a tragedy and are treated as such, but the deaths due to tobacco use are somewhat overlooked by much of our society today. These deaths are preventable.

Nicotine is more addictive than cocaine or heroin. This addiction is difficult to break, but it can be done. The State of Maryland has provided us with grant funding to help break the nicotine addiction.

Secondhand smoke kills more than 53,000 persons a year. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 dangerous chemicals. Smoking in the home or car, especially in the presence of children, is very harmful to their health. It is my hope that folks in our community will recognize these problems, and the fact that our state has provided local help in dealing with them.

The Cigarette Restitution Fund and Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation grants have friendly, caring persons who are ready, willing and able to help.

Nell Stewart

Hagerstown




Where will water come from?


To the editor:

We moved to this area three years ago and during this short time we've already experienced one entire summer on restricted water use. It appears we may have the same situation this summer.

Despite this, there are massive housing developments underway and more in the planning stage for this area of Mt. Aetna.

The lack of vision and prudent planning by city/county officials is lamentable as well as incredible.

D. Archer

Hagerstown

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