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Show's Melancholy

September 22, 1985

In Eric Show, the Los Angeles Times has gleefully found a scapegoat upon whom it can pin the fault for the decline and fall of 1985 San Diego Padres. I say "gleefully" because the left-leaning Times could ask for nothing better than to excoriate one such as Show whose rightist philosophy is well-known.

I do not know Mr. Show personally, yet I was very much gratified to have received a phone call from him a few years ago in which he praised a letter by me that had been published in the Tribune. We chatted briefly about my letter, in which I wrote, "I do not fear an attack by the Soviet Union upon the United States. I do fear that through disinformation the Soviets will . . . gain their ends by the use of intimidation."

I have followed Eric Show's career with the Padres closely in the media. The Times sportswriter, Tom Friend (how misnamed can one get?), never misses a chance to inform one and all that Show is a member of the John Birch Society, as if this made some difference in how he pitches--other sports figures who share Show's political philosophy are seldom identified as such. And what about the black athletes with Islamic names?

Sports commentators and writers have called Show an "intellectual," "introspective," a person who "gets down on himself," and now Friend intimated that Show gets down on his teammates. He "pouts." He is uncommunicative. A sort of Nixon in brown and gold.

The fact is that Show is a God-loving, patriotic American and this is anathema to the artsy-smartsy Times. It must cause Joan Kroc no end of pain to have to pay this man. I think it would be in Show's nature to tough it out here in San Diego, but I do not think he will have the chance. Therefore, I suggest he asks to be traded to the Atlanta Braves where he will work for another patriot and not for a communist dupe who might be the real reason for Show's melancholy.

EDWIN O. LEARNARD

San Diego

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