I give Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels credit for honesty, nothing more, in his stunning admission that he intentionally struck 19-year-old Washington Nationals phenomenon Bryce Harper in the back to "welcome him" to the game, alleging that risking injury to one's opponents is "old baseball."
Hamels holds himself out to the community as one who is working for its betterment and who engages in great philanthropic deeds. It is sad that such an individual, who has possessed a relatively clean, all-American image, would engage in the baseball of thugs rather than those who enjoy the greatness of this game.
Bryce Harper is mature and possessing class beyond his years; given the opportunity to comment on the Hamels assault, he responded that his opponent "pitched a great game."
I do not support physical retaliation against Hamels, as one aberrant act should not be followed by another, though it was sweet to watch Harper make a fool of him by stealing home, making the most of Hamels' strike.
I believe that individuals who engage in assault are not differentiated from criminals simply by virtue of the protection offered by the baseball diamond.
There is no room in a storied sport for those of the ilk of Cole Hamels. I hope that he will have a change of heart about "welcoming" individuals to baseball with an assault before his young children are old enough to understand what their father did to poison the game.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
Maybe Ed Snider should sell the Flyers, too. No cups since 1975? I've never seen such a bad performance in the playoffs, and Paul Holmgren stinks as a general manager signing Bryzgalov for eight years, $51 million dollars?
Are you kidding me?
I haven't followed the Flyers' wheeling and dealing on free agents and the draft, but I was shocked to learned that they gave Ilya "The Terrible" a contract for $51 million. No thanks to Ilya, who made a "Terrible" blunder on a play he could have made to save a Devils score. The Flyers are now out of the playoffs. That's 37 years without a Stanley Cup.
P.S. I think whoever gave Ilya "The Terrible" that huge contract must have lost all his marbles.
Robert F. Schaffer
Only in Philadelphia
Only in Philadelphia can a police officer be accused of sexual harassment and be given a promotion.
Only in Philadelphia would a mayor go on live TV and place a bounty on another human being.
Only in Philadelphia can a nasty neighbor spray chemicals on a Bronze Star recipient's flag because the neighbor had a problem with the young man's parent. When the parent attempted to file a private criminal complaint with the D.A.'s office, an employee in the office laughed in her face.
When you have a complaint against a police officer, where do you go? Certainly not Internal Affairs; cops policing other cops never works. Too many citizens are being falsely arrested, prosecuted and some serving jail sentences only to be given a get-out-of-jail pass with no apologies.
The leadership in this city is the worst ever. When Seth Williams and Mayor Nutter were running for office, they covered the entire city asking for votes. Now that they are in office, the only citizens who count live in Center City and Society Hill.
My personal feeling is: Send these negroes back to the cotton fields until they learn some humility. (By the way, I am a person of color.)
Mr. Nutter cannot run again for election, but when it's time to vote again for Mr. Williams, he will not get my support.
In response to Diane McDowell's letter: What is politics? Waiting for someone to tell the electorate how great you, the candidate, are?
Some politicians are better at it than others. Of course, Mr. Obama probably would never land on an aircraft carrier and make a speech in front of a huge banner touting MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
From a spokes-person
To Stu Bykofsky: As a reader of your articles and a cyclist in the city, I am curious to know how often you have used a bicycle in the city of Philadelphia? It is a very dangerous place out on the roads and we need all the help we can get. The stories that you write seem, like everyone else's, to boil down to the point of "whose place" it is, really. You allow the argument to become a black/white issue of space and who is more dominant on the road. It should boil down to the concern of safety for people out on the streets and the sidewalks. It seems slightly inhumane of you to give such little respect for human life.
I, too, am frustrated with cyclists who ride the sidewalks or what I call "salmon" up the street, i.e., people going the wrong way. I do stop at a majority of stop lights. Stop signs are a big gray area for many in the debate on following traffic laws. Many states and a few cities have adopted laws which make it legal for a cyclist to go through stop signs as long as they yield and are aware of oncoming traffic.
There is a greater issue: everyone in this city needs to learn how to share the public realm. Motorist, pedestrians, and cyclists are all at fault for creating the atmosphere that we have in Philadelphia.