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Strike Hitting Hard, From Heartbroken Fan to Bored Announcer

August 27, 1994

Dear Angels and Brewers,

My name is Jeff and I am 8 1/2 years old. I was looking forward to the Angels and Brewers game on the 24th. Now that you went on strike I can't. I don't want you to go on strike and lots of other people don't either.

P.S. It was going to be my first major league game to see in my whole life.


Arroyo Grande


Breakfast at Ross Porter's house during the strike:

Mrs. Porter: "Coffee, Ross?"

Ross: "Speaking of coffee, in 1940 Bill Cozzo of Brooklyn, N.Y., had 52 cups of coffee at breakfast, 23 cups with cream and 29 cups black. Sugar in 22 cups. He was a southpaw. He used a standard eight-ounce cup, white with a blue border. It's still the record and. . . ."

Sounds: Woman screaming, front door slamming and car racing away.

Ross (running out front): "She's still in her yellow bathrobe that she bought in Chicago in 1993 and that she has worn only 27 times. Oh, hi neighbors, I didn't see you. Speaking of neighbors, that reminds me. . . ."

Neighbors: "No, no! Go back to work!




Since Barry Bonds is having difficulty coming up with monthly child and spousal support payments, I've got the perfect solution for him--a telethon. All concerned sports fans could call 1-800-DEADBEAT with their pledges of support.


Los Angeles


Southern California baseball fans are providing the answer to the baseball strike and overblown player salaries.

I have visited minor league baseball stadiums in Adelanto, Rancho Cucamonga and Lake Elsinore. The prices for my family of six were unbelievably affordable. The crowds were large, enthusiastic and family oriented. No one seemed to care who was hitting the home runs, beating the throw to second or jawing with the umpire. The beautiful stadiums, the pageantry and colorful surroundings are what the fans really enjoy.

Build a stadium, they will come.




I would be very surprised if there was not at least one ballplayer out of some 700 who is thinking:

"Mr. Fehr, I never said that you had the right to take my hard-earned money away from me and my family. I never agreed that by striking we would necessarily be helping future players (a la Curt Flood, etc.) I never said that a reasonable 'cap' would not be in my best interests. What I do say is that I plan to show up for work at our ballpark, and since I am available for work, I expect to be paid my normal salary."




With the strike entering its second week and no solutions in sight, I propose that the rosters be cut from the current 24 players to 19. Each team would have five starting pitchers, two relievers and 12 position players.

First, and most importantly, this would save the owners as much as $6 million per year in salaries if each player is earning the league average of $1.2 million. Hence, the salary-cap proposal could be withdrawn by management.

Cutting the rosters would also lessen the watering-down effect that the last 25 years of expansion has created.

The players' union might find this unacceptable, but the owners already lowered the roster from 25 to 24, and with layoffs in all industries nationwide, it is about time baseball had its turn at bat.


West Covina


Now is the best chance the Angels have had in 25 years to improve their ballclub.

General Manager Bill Bavasi needs to promote the Vancouver minor league team to replace the cellar-dweller Angels. Maybe Anaheim Stadium will once again see 50,000 fans cheering on the Angels.

Gene Autry deserves better.


Huntington Beach


I have been a loyal Dodger fan for 30 years.

The 1980s brought free agency, salaries went up, and so did the value of ballclubs.

Now the players make so much money from April to August they can sit back and enjoy the dog days of summer.

The owners have so much money, they can sit back and plan to destroy the players' union.

All I want to say, as a former fan, is, "A pox on both your houses."




If baseball is so important to the well-being of the nation as to be granted an exemption from antitrust laws, then the government should use its powers to stop the strike--for the well-being of the nation's baseball fans.


Los Angeles


The only thing the baseball owners have to fear is Fehr himself.


Long Beach


Let's focus responsibility for the strike where it belongs: with the owners. The reason for the strike is the owners' threat to unilaterally impose their system on the players at the end of this season. The owners could end the walkout simply by pledging not to do that. Then they could actually try working with the players as a partnership instead of merely giving lip service to that concept.




Although I enjoy Mike Downey's writing, and I appreciate his point when he says "pro baseball or no baseball," it sounds as if he has fallen under a spell that many of us have.

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