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A Reality Check That She Can't Take to the Bank

August 13, 1994

The chart published in the July 31 edition of The Times showing how much baseball players will lose during the strike was a reality check for me.

I have five years of college education and have been a teacher for 12 years. Yet Bobby Bonilla of the Mets makes $5.7 million a year and I make $36,600. His daily earnings are $31,148 while mine are $201.

Granted, he is only one player, but the minimum baseball salary is $109,000--or $595 a day.

Baseball is obviously greatly more valued than my profession.

And I have no pro-rated bonuses, incentive bonuses or endorsements, only: "Wow! Is that how it works? I always wondered and now I know. Too cool!"

JUDY ROCKENBACH

La Habra

*

When the major league players are on strike, do they still charge kids for autographs?

CHUCK HILL

Van Nuys

*

It could cost the owners a fortune to maintain the playing fields while the baseball players are out on strike. They will have to hire nine men to stand around all day and spit.

JOYCE CATES

Ventura

*

No one can justify to my satisfaction why a professional athlete who is playing a game should be paid a yearly salary that is twice as much money as the average working stiff could make in a 40-year working career.

Therefore, speaking frankly, many of us don't give a damn if they ever settle the baseball strike.

VICTOR N. ALLSTEAD

Woodland Hills

*

A new baseball rule: "One strike and you're out."

RICHARD MORSE

Camarillo

*

Robert Parish, formerly of the Boston Celtics, has signed a contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Reports indicate he will earn $5.5 million for two years. He expects to play about 10 to 15 minutes a game. Will Parish, too, soon find displeasure with his employer?

Also, how many ballplayers were affected by the recent transit strike? Did it interrupt maid service?

BOB SENNETT

Sylmar

*

My feelings about the baseball strike? I think the Dodger bullpen should support the walkout because that's the only called strike they're going to get.

MIKE MACDONALD

North Hills

*

As a fan, I think it's safe to say that out-of-control capitalism and the greed it sprouts have not enhanced the quality of play nor the excitement and drama of events we watch.

The current system is evil, corrupt and not a lot of fun, but some fundamental changes might save it.

First, ownership of all major league franchises should be transferred to the city or country where the teams are located. The franchises would be nonprofit, with additional revenue earned to be spent in areas of local need, enhancing the salaries of the truly underpaid such as teachers, policemen and firemen.

Second, each player should have a base salary of between $100,000 and $500,000 and should be rewarded for excellence with incentive clauses that could raise a salary to $1.5 million maximum. Thus, if you don't perform, you get only a couple of hundred thousand to feed your family and extravagant lifestyle.

Third, all current owners should receive market value for their teams and then be tried in a court of law for crimes against humanity (that is, the fans).

Finally, all sports agents should have their assets seized and be forced to wear cheap suits, drive economy cars and practice law, or their chosen profession, in Amarillo, Tex.

HOWARD NOACK

San Diego

*

With a baseball strike (under way), The Times is sure to be deluged with irate letters from brainwashed fans. They will probably blame the players for everything from high salaries to the price of eggs.

Thanks are due to Ross Newhan, who has consistently, clearly and accurately pointed out that it's the club owners who create and drive baseball's labor disputes.

If muddled correspondents looked beyond the box scores, or learned to read, similar conclusions would be unavoidable.

PATRICK JOAQUIN GALLIGAN

Ventura

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