After a brief hiatus, the People's Voice returns without missing a beat. We've got Sox-Yankees (and those who hate them), the return of Krzyzewskiville and the chances of baseball ever getting to Vegas.
As always, include your full name and town to get reprinted, keep it brief and to the point. My responses are in italics.
Now on to the People's Voice. …
YANKEES-RED SOX ("Curse of a rivalry" July 12, 2004)
As a Yankee fan living in Baltimore … the thought of Beantown Clemens getting blown up by that Yankee offense is too marvelous for words.
Eric D. Smith
I am so sick of hearing about the Sox-Yanks rivalry. I mean how can you call that a rivalry? When was the last time the Sox won a meaningful game against the Yankees?
Let's start talking about the rivalry when the Sox win about four series and beat the Yanks in the ALCS or something.
It may not follow the traditional definition of a rivalry (win some, lose some) but there is no question that on both sides of the equation it is as intense as any in sport.
I think the Red Sox are tapped out financially. They couldn't hang with New York for A-Rod and they won't be able to hang with them at the deadline. This year it won't be so close. ALCS prediction: Yankees in five.
The pathetic and boring onslaught of media coverage about the Yankees and Red Sox geographic rivalry, and that's all it really is, is just another reason why the NFL has passed MLB in the eyes of our nation's sports fans.
MLB used to be my favorite sport, but never again.
You asked recently "Sick of hearing about the Yankees and Red Sox? Too bad. When it comes to those teams, things are just heating up."
Yes, these are the two MLB teams that I am least interested in hearing about. I like Joe Torre, but have almost no interest whatsoever in anything that happens with either the Yankees or Red Sox at any time.
If you want to see a spirited, good-natured baseball rivalry – baseball the way it ought to be – check out the Cardinals and the Cubs. We get almost no national media attention the way the Yankees and Red Sox do, but we love our baseball here, and these players are every bit as talented as the players on those teams.
St. Louis, Mo.
I enjoy your column. I read it whenever I want to hear about baseball northeast of New Jersey … When will you East Coast folks wake up and realize that there is baseball all across the country? In fact, if you like real baseball there is an entire league – THE National League – that you could write about. And don't besmirch my Cards – they are for real!
Uh this comment: "You can hate this big-market dominance, but if the idea of Clemens returning to Fenway to beat the Yankees doesn't get your heart racing then you aren't a baseball fan."
You aren't a baseball fan if you don't support watching two teams use the rest of the league as a farm system? … Ever stop to think that there are fans outside of Boston and New York?
I don't give a crap about Clemens returning to Fenway. I'd like to see someone else compete for postseason spots and someone else acquire the best players.
You really have a point here. Clemens returning to Boston (where he is considered a disingenuous traitor) and leading the Sox past New York (where he would then be considered a disingenuous traitor) thus earning eternal redemption from Red Sox Nation wouldn't make for great theater at all. Neither would Curt Schilling vs. Randy Johnson in a Game 7 of the ALCS. I doubt anyone would watch.
COACH K ("Coach K gets back to work" July 8, 2004)
Coach K's decision to stay at Duke is an example of what is right about the college game as compared to the pro game with the Lakers … The pro game has too much me and not enough we.
Don't get me wrong, there are still problems in the college game (like not being able to get a cab in Cincinnati). Yet the style of play has been more enjoyable to watch.
The best stories of the NBA in the last few years were involving the Browns – Hubie and Larry. These are two classy coaches who keep me watching the NBA. If not for people like that I would have quit watching it. When they retire I might also retire from the NBA. By then chances are I won't be able to pronounce the names or understand how a kid who can't shave can be making all that money for POTENTIAL and not for winning games.
I am not a Duke fan, (UVA!) but I have always been impressed by Coach Krzyzewski. Personally, I do not think the NBA deserves him. Thanks for another great article!
Kansas City, Mo.
Are you serious with the Coach K rump kissing? What reason is there to believe he is capable of success in the pros? How long will it be before the Lakers are an average club even with Kobe? The whole thing was a big sham for Coach K to get the national media and his personable press secretary Dickie V to talk him up even more.
The really pathetic thing is he has achieved enough in his career that he shouldn't have to put on his Mayberry act anymore. Did anyone really think he seriously considered leaving for the Lakers? They should have their press passes taken away if they did.
Something tells me you are a Carolina fan.
Great, positive article on Coach K. Too bad more coaches, high school players and, especially, the NBA can't follow his example and put the sport, not the money, into proper perspective. Coach K is nothing but a class act, that's why he's a winner off the basketball court as well as on the basketball court.
White Stone, Va.
BASEBALL IN VEGAS ("Considering the odds" July 6, 2004)
Thanks for noticing there is more to Las Vegas/Southern Nevada than just casinos. The people here deserve a professional sports franchise and would support it. Come on Bud Selig, give us a shot.
Sorry Dan but as far as I'm concerned Vegas has no chance whatsoever to get an MLB franchise, nor do they deserve one. Vegas cannot even support a Triple-A team. Why on earth should they deserve a major league team? Just because half of California is moving to that city is not a good one, and neither are the other reasons you mentioned.
I do have an idea to move the A's out of Oakland and put them in Sin City. Sound familiar? It did not work the first time and it won't work the second. Put a team in Louisville or Memphis where fan support is at an all-time high and just make it a win-win situation for either city and for MLB. Let me guess: Next you're going to be writing about what a legit shot San Antonio has of getting an NFL team because it has the Alamo and is the No. 1 tourist spot in the State of Texas.
Felipe Perez Jr.
San Antonio, Texas
As I wrote in the column, baseball is not the best fit for this market. That said, supporting or not supporting Triple-A means nothing. The minors are popular because people like going out to ball games, usually to enjoy the summer weather. You'd have to be sadistic to consider that a fun way to spend an afternoon in Nevada.
Regarding a Las Vegas baseball team, I'd wait to see more about Vegas' long-term climate. Knowing that Colorado River water was grossly overappropriated 80 years ago, and knowing the current Western drought actually may not be that unusual, half of greater Las Vegas could dry up and blow away 10 years from now.
Actually, environmentally, come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea.
There must be a reason there is no baseball there after all these years. The tourists who show up may wish to gamble and not go to a game (the husbands might, not the wives). Low-wage workers probably can't afford it. Most workers quit at 5 p.m. and have their nights free. But in Vegas, many still work at night or sleep to get ready for the next shift. Losing teams, in any city, do not attract. You need big hardcore populations to support any team. Vegas may not have those numbers.
Los Angeles, Calif.
You're right, people go gamble before or after Tigers and Lions games in Detroit. It's real close. I think Las Vegas would be a good spot for the Raiders and an excellent opportunity for Al Davis to really rattle the NFL honchos.
Tremendous idea. I can see NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue fainting at the very idea. I can't imagine a football fan in America who wouldn't want a team in Vegas. Between the road trip opportunities, the over-the-top cheerleaders and off-the-field debauchery (and subsequent headlines) of the Vegas players, it would put the Cowboys to shame. It would be a real-life "Playmakers."
I want a professional sports team here as much as everyone. I think we would be a great market for football and maybe hockey. Yes hockey. We have had small hockey teams here for years and it has been successful. If we did get a baseball team we would be the smallest market in baseball. We might get people to go because they want to get out of the heat.
We have the most interesting economy and the influx of population comes on the weekends so I think that football would be the best fit. Anything to keep entertained and stay out of the heat.
Las Vegas, Nev.
I'm surprised you didn't think Las Vegas could host a hockey team. They used to sell out Thomas & Mack for an old IHL team, and routinely sell a good number of tickets for a minor league team now. No different from Phoenix?
It wasn't Vegas' ability to support a NHL team I doubted. It is the NHL's ability to support itself. This league needs to lose a half-dozen franchises, not expand.