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Friday, August 29, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 3/26/2005

The question of unfair advantage

I've read or heard respected journalists propose that baseball's hitting records achieved through use of muscle-building steroids be rescinded.

Clearly, if an athlete uses a banned substance that increases muscular power, he has an unfair competitive advantage over athletes who refuse to use it.

Like no other sport, baseball records are sacrosanct. But once the question of unfair advantage is raised, we open a whole new can of worms. How can we honor those records that were achieved when blatant race discrimination eliminated the competition of many of the world's best athletes, not only in baseball, but in football and basketball as well?

If we examine the post-Jackie Robinson entry of black athletes into major organized sports, there can be little doubt that the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s had their black equivalents of Willy Mays, Jim Brown, and Bill Russell. Wouldn't the Satchel Paiges and Josh Gibsons of those years have supplanted some of those record holders listed in my almanac, if given the chance?

When Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961 and broke Babe Ruth's record, baseball purists demanded that Maris' achievement be diminished with an asterisk. The rationale was Maris' unfair advantage of playing a 162-game season instead of 154.

If recent home run records are to be rescinded, there should be an asterisk for all records set prior to opening baseball to competition that was fair and free of color bias.

CARL J. CHERRY

Fostoria, Ohio

When I vote for renewal of the Toledo Zoo's levy, I assume it goes toward care for the animals and upkeep of our zoo. Thanks for the wake-up call on how my money is really being spent.

JOAN SZOLLOSI

Oregon

Jack Ford spending my tax dollars to fund a thinly veiled re-election campaign is probably the most creative idea this administration has conceived in three years. The mayor must have hired Ray Kest to run his campaign.

WILLIAM POZNANSKI

Melvin Drive

It was sad that the Senate voted to allow oil drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

While Sen. Mike DeWine earns my gratitude for his vote in opposition to drilling, I am extremely disappointed by Sen. George Voinovich's vote in favor of it, and would hope that he reconsiders his position.

The ANWR has unique geography and ecology that make it one of the most complete and pristine ecosystems on earth, and one particularly sensitive to disturbances.

This was attested to earlier this year in a letter to President Bush and Congress from more than 1,000 scientists and experts in ecology, wildlife biology, and resource management, who outlined the scientific importance of the arctic ecosystem and its extreme vulnerability.

Given the established fact that drilling in the Arctic would provide no oil for the U.S. in this decade, and never substantially reduce American dependence on foreign energy, the decision to despoil the Arctic coastal plain is especially pointless; and it is sad that the administration in Washington is again pursuing a policy that will not solve the problem cited to justify it.

Instead we should create jobs developing alternative energies.

Robert Deck

Kimberly Drive

To the whining liberal who wrote to the Readers' Forum that Jack Kelly blames liberals for all the problems of the world, I say, "Congratulations!" You are one of the few liberals who finally gets it!

Terry Hubert

Holland



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