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That's a foul ball

December 22, 2007

TIM RUTTEN hits bottom trying to pin the blame for baseball's descent into drugs partly on fans ["Baseball's Shame Is Our Shame Too," Dec. 15]. Such a disingenuous, unsubstantiated, blanket accusation undermines his pretense to accurate analysis. I wished Barry Bonds success, but I didn't drool over it, and if there's anything I shrug off it's the honesty of corporate sports and its equally compromised, hype-happy journalists.

Rutten rightfully decried sports journalists too enmeshed in their beats to practice honest journalism; too bad he didn't continue the thought and admit his profession's far more egregious role in the appalling, perhaps irreversible disintegration of our democracy.

William LeGro

Los Angeles

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RUTTEN writes, "All that was required to collect was a willingness to turn a blind eye to the fact the money came from letting athletes cripple and kill themselves. Alcohol and drugs always have been a part of professional sports, but the latter usually were confined to painkillers, occasional amphetamines and quack hangover cures."

Seems Rutten is downplaying alcohol in order to overplay performance-enhancing drugs.

When "athletes cripple and kill themselves," you usually find alcohol as the source. From Babe Ruth to Mickey Mantle to Josh Hamilton, the list of ballplayers harmed from the abuse of alcohol is indeed long. To downplay this so the spotlight is brighter on the performance-enhancing drugs issue doesn't speak well for someone critiquing the way media covers the issue.

R.L. Root

Westminster

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