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Players of Today Are Penny-Wise, Not Wimpy

August 12, 1989

Mike Downey left out a very important fact in his Aug. 8 column.

He is right in saying that today's players are in better shape than those of the 1940s and '50s. And he is also right in saying that the players of yesterday played everyday, even when they had broken hip bones.

But he left out was the reason. Today's players receive their million-dollar contracts on their statistics at the end of the year. That's all the cheap owners look at today. So if a player hits .300, but in only 100 games, he is considered a better asset than a player who would have hit .300, but instead opted to play hurt, thus his average dropped to .265.

I don't blame today's players. I wouldn't play either. It's bad enough to play hurt, and risk further injury, but it's even worse if the effort is not appreciated.

GARY ROBERT FENTON

Beverly Hills

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