Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers Column

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers Column

Article excerpt

In a desperate attempt to make peace with its fans, baseball has been offering cheap tickets, autograph sessions with accommodating players, smiling ballpark employees and other feel-good ploys. But perhaps the most effective tack was taken by Phillies third baseman CHARLIE HAYES in a letter to the fans printed in Denver's Rocky Mountain News:

"From the time I was drafted from the Yankees to be a member of the original Rockies until recently, when I signed with Philadelphia, you always made me feel like I was wanted and appreciated. For the rest of my life, I'll never forget the kindness and respect shown me wherever I went in Denver.

"Especially ingrained in my memory will be the days and nights I spent at third base before 50,000-60,000 screaming fans at Mile High Stadium. You fans are what make baseball in Denver so special, and even though I'll be on the opposing team, I'm looking forward to playing in front of you at Coors Field when the Phillies visit in July."

Do the words "class act" come to mind? The umpires are back. Which has GARY SHELTON of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times highly underwhelmed:

"The umpires are back. Yippee. Pack up the kids, honey. ED MONTAGUE's behind the plate today. Maybe he'll toss somebody.

"Yes, sir, this settling of the umpires' strike is just about the best news baseball could have. Instead of watching those obnoxious, quick-tempered, strangers-to-logic amateurs, once again baseball can be judged by obnoxious, quick-tempered, strangers-to-logic professionals."

Not that Shelton - who, by the way, obviously has spent way too much time in the hot Florida sun - was enamored with the pinch-umps:

"I really am glad the regular umpires are back, especially after watching the replacement umps hit about .116 in the first week of the season. It will be nice to watch a game where the home-plate umpire doesn't have to call time to explain the infield fly rule to the rest of the crew. …

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