A fan boycott of all major league games when they resume would show both sides who really controls the finances.
KATHLEEN MANSBERGER, SIERRA VISTA, ARIZ.
Both the players and owners wrongly assume that fans have bottomless pockets to pay for tickets, for food and souvenirs at the ballpark, for cable TV to watch games and for advertisers' products (In the Strike Zone, Aug. 1). At a time when attending a ball game is growing out of reach for the average fan, it is difficult to feel compassion for either side.
MICHAEL A. KIRSH, Tenafly, N.J.
I feel for the fans and for the players. Matt Williams. Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were having outstanding seasons. The Yankees and the Indians were finally playing well. Even the Rockies were contending in the National League West.
I'm begging: Donald Fehr and Richard Ravitch, get the issues resolved. Don't ruin this wonderful season.
B.J. CRUZ, Toledo, Iowa
Most pro athletes are unappreciative, overpaid jocks who live like royalty at the expense of the fans. If the players thought for one minute that the fans would not return, a strike would not have been considered. This is one fan who will not be back. Wake up, Boys of Summer, you need us, but we don't need you.
DAVID M. FAULK, Enterprise, Ala.
I know the owners are arrogant, self-serving, miserly, fatherless children, but holy cow! I'm hard-pressed to feel sorry for guys making $1.2 million a year for playing a game that allows them to take 15 or 30 days off when they hit a padded wall or step too hard on a bag, to renegotiate a contract when they think they have done well and to get a bonus for doing what they were paid to do in the first place. There is not a four-dollar cup of warm beer in either league that could get me back to a stadium now.
DENNIS BUTLER, Dublin, Ohio
Pity the fans in San Francisco who won't be watching Matt Williams chase Roger Maris's home run record. Be disgusted that the people in Chicago won't be rooting for Frank Thomas to become the first Triple Crown winner in 27 years. Mourn for the fans in San Diego who won't get to pull for Tony Gwynn to match Ted Williams's feat of hitting .400. Feel sorry for the workers in all the stadiums who are laid off.
But don't feel sorry for the players. They have matched the owners in their greed and lack of respect for the game.
KENN AUENEVOLI, Florissant, Mo.
Long live organized labor. It's time that the players were freed from the yokes that bind them to multimillion-dollar contracts, eight-month work years, mansions and Mercedes. Free them from having to work in beautiful stadiums, from per diems, lucrative endorsements, paid medical and retirement benefits and, of course, from celebrity status. We cannot tolerate an employer who insists that his employees labor in such unjust conditions. Oppressed workers struggled so that ballplayers could ascend from lowly millionaires to struggling multimillionaires.
TED DUFFY, Los Angeles
A strike? A baseball strike? We've had one here in Washington for 23 years! Now sports fans around the country know what it's like to live in Buffalo or New Orleans or Tampa or any big city where major league baseball doesn't exist.
MARC ROULIER, Stafford, Va.