SBJ/August 6 - 12, 2001/Opinion


Bigger things in store for insightful Costas

Bob Costas' Op-Ed piece in your July 16 issue ["Baseball's landscape is changing, old warrior is not"] was right on target. As he articulated so well in his book, "Fair Ball," it's long past time for change in baseball's collective-bargaining agreement and leaguewide revenue distribution.

It's time for Costas to put his broadcasting days aside and use his keen insight and love of the game where it would, in my opinion, save the game from its certain slow death — the commissioner's office. The man has the ability to make common sense appear as genius as it is.

If Mr. Selig won't step aside, I wonder what Costas is doing in 2004.

Carl A. Adkins

Agents on campuses require tighter reins

I appreciated Len Elmore's recent Final Word article advancing the creation of an NBA law firm, of sorts. As the director of compliance and legal affairs at San Jose State University, agent activities are always in the back of my mind when we have a stellar athlete on our team. I would love to see these unscrupulous characters (for the most part) regulated further (e.g., paid a "Wall Street" rate for hourly services performed rather than a percentage) and fast.

With the athletes leaving institutions earlier (or not attending at all), the opportunity for them to be taken advantage of is great. At the NCAA level, we are trying our part — lessening the impact of the AAU tournament directors and coaches on the athletes — but would like to see further agent regulation.

Desiree Reed
San Jose

MLB debate was fun, but let's give it a rest

OK, cease fire.

You've had your fun, Andy Zimbalist and Allen Barra.

You've had your say, Marvin Miller and Bob Costas.

In fact, these pages have been filled with the debate over Major League Baseball's competitive balance, revenue sharing, salary caps and the coming labor negotiations. Much of it has been entertaining, a fair amount insightful, some vitriolic and a bit even personal.

There have been editorials and replies, Final Word columns, and guest columns, opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Some say baseball is broken; fix it. Others reply baseball is healthy; support it.

Paul Volcker wrote with spirit after baseball's blue ribbon panel report was criticized. MLB's labor counsel Robert Manfred got in a few jabs, too. More recently, Clark Griffith cleared his throat and his conscience.

It has been our responsibility to publish the attacks and counterattacks by people who feel passionate about baseball at this crucial time in its history. But we're all outsiders looking in. We haven't heard a thing from the principals, baseball management and the union.

An editor asked me last week, "Who will get the last word?"

No one. Let's back off, Marvin and Bob. Let's give it a break, Andy and Allen.

If you have something new and constructive, our readers are always interested. If it's to restate a point and get the last word, let's cool it and hope that Bud Selig and MLB or Don Fehr and the union decide to accept an open invitation to use this space to speak with candor to the industry.

John Genzale

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