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Integrity Strikes Out in Major League Baseball

June 10, 2003

Re "Swing at a Bigger Problem," editorial, June 6: It's easy to wonder why players can't just say no. And I agree their choices are part of the problem. But it's the owners who shoulder most of the blame. Athletes aren't tenured; they see bigger, faster and more talented players vying for their jobs and they're pressured to fight fire with fire.

If baseball really wanted to restore integrity, it would institute drug testing and equipment inspection with a vengeance. Every contract would include penalties for breaking those rules. But it doesn't and it won't for fear of losing star players and attendance. I guarantee, though, the American sporting public will get solidly behind any owner who implements and upholds those rules. Those who don't are those to blame.

Edd Ruskowitz

Tustin

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Re "Sosa's Bats Cleared, but His Image Isn't," June 5: More than Sammy Sosa's apparent attempt at cheating (and that, I feel, is the proper word for it), I take particular umbrage at USC professor David M. Carter's remark that fans have "short memories." We don't have short memories, by any means. We certainly remember how squabbling ballplayers went on strike, and we almost assuredly never forget how concessions are priced at least at three times what they would sell for in a competitive market.

I'm proud to say that the only professional baseball game I've ever attended was with a complimentary ticket. There is absolutely no way I would ever pay to watch an overpaid baseball player, especially one who, with the money he earns, would find it necessary to cheat with a doctored bat.

Gregg M. Shives

Alhambra

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