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Gabler on Baseball Strike

August 19, 1994

Re "The Owners: Baseball's Newest Heroes," Opinion, Aug. 7:

Congratulations to Neal Gabler for a clever piece of writing. He psychoanalyzes the 45% of the public (the bad guys) who believe the players to be responsible for the strike, and says nothing about the 28% of the public (the good guys) who hold the owners responsible or the remaining 27% of the public (me) who don't give a hoot.

Gabler's psychoanalysis of the 45% is a not-so-veiled attempt to expose his liberal views--the reason the majority has sided with the owners is due to Reaganomics and the redistribution of wealth (plenty of which has gone to professional athletes, we might add) and the fact that the 45% has denounced the working people, be they baseball players, air traffic controllers or Teamsters. He lists a couple of other things but it points to the same--the wealthy have tricked us all.

As a liberal, Mr. Gabler, you get an A-plus but as a psychologist you get an F-minus; the public doesn't need psychoanalysis. This baseball issue is about $-$-$ and more $ and we all know it. Whoever prevails, the fans--primarily us working folk--will take it right in the wallet.

H. F. HENSON

Westlake Village

Gabler's analysis is eloquent and completely true, but applies poorly to baseball. The worship of the businessman cult that has overtaken our national psyche has allowed the wealthy to reap profits at the expense of labor, subsidized by tax revenues (to which they assiduously avoid contributing). However, I seriously doubt that a player making an additional mil next year will help to right these social wrongs.

Baseball players are entitled to earn a large percentage of the revenue they generate, since they are entertainers with very unique skills, and role models to kids. They have achieved fantastic wealth for their efforts. In the grand scheme of our society's values, however, should these youngsters with no education earn 100 times what we pay educated professionals, who dedicate their lives to helping others? I don't think the public begrudges the athlete his salary. I simply think they are saying "enough is enough."

A salary cap is a good idea. It will not rob players of their humongous salaries. It will simply tend to keep baseball competitive and prevent ticket prices from rising out of reach of the ordinary fan, as they have in football and basketball.

I am not a great fan of baseball owners, who are also earning huge salaries for dubious contributions to society. But a strike is unjustified.

ERIC LEVER

Fountain Valley

Gabler missed one obvious answer to the impasse. If the players accept a cap on their contracts, why not demand that the owners accept a cap on their profits?

JOHN ALRICH

Santa Barbara

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