Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor

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Not developing hitters biggest issue

I might be in the minority, but I think bringing in Safeco Field’s fences is too easy an expedient to solve the Mariners’ scoring problems. Instead, management should take the high road by cultivating better on-base percentages and some clutch hitting among its young players. I’d rather see more run-scoring doubles and triples than a bunch of cheap solo home runs any day. Where’s the excitement in those?

Look at the Giants, who have hit only 31 homers at AT&T Park while scoring 308 runs. Compare that to Seattle at 55 and 245 at Safeco. And what’s to be gained when opposing teams share the same short-fence advantage? Leave the fences where they are, please.

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— Rob Bowman, Seattle

Movable fences and then some

For the Mariners to have a winning season next year, the new fence should be portable and only be moved in when the Mariners are at bat. In addition, the opposing pitchers should be forced to pitch from second base. If after the fifth inning we are still more than three runs behind, the Mariners should be allowed to hit off a tee.

— Jeff Ackles, Seattle

Ownership must change to win

The Mariners been around for 35 years and haven’t made it past the ALCS. They were not able to build off their success from 1995 to 2003, and that’s inexcusable. They have had chances to turn this around, but hired Bill Bavasi as our GM to tear this team apart.

Finally we are heading in the right direction, back to the days of October baseball in Seattle again. But first, new ownership is needed, desperately. The current owners don’t even care about winning.

— Ransom Gardner, Edmonds

Dial up help for radio broadcasts

Does the front office ever listen to Mariners radio, or just not care about the numbers-obsessed, language-challenged, falsely theatrical, and (worse) numbingly repetitive coverage the play-by-play and color crew (except the two Kens, Wilson and Levine) put the rest of us through?

— Milt Krieger, Bellingham


Play-calling questioned

I am very disappointed in the play-calling in the Seahawks’ loss to St. Louis. They couldn’t convert in key third-down situations, and their decision to start the second half with an onside kick?

This is not college football, it’s the NFL. Do you want me to call some plays?

— Judy Lamson, Snoqualmie

Golden hero from Seattle

Golden Tate should be hailed as a national hero in the sports community. He single-handedly brought back the regular referees.

— Mike Clark, Seattle

Give Wilson some time, help

We’re four weeks into the season and already the local sports-radio gurus/vultures are circling over Russell Wilson’s twitching, nearly lifeless carcass. A few observations regarding how well Russell’s teammates and coaches supported their rookie quarterback against the Rams:

1) You have third-and-two at the 10-yard line and decide not to let Marshawn Lynch do what he does best;

2) Richard Sherman makes a momentum-shifting interception, and veteran Chris Clemons decides to ask his rookie quarterback to back up 15 yards because of an ill-timed penalty;

3) The Hawks start out the second half with an unsuccessful onside kick;

4) Wilson drops back to pass, only to find that his pass protection is not on par with the run blocking. Every extra second in the pocket is significant for a QB trying to find open receivers. Give it to Russell, and he will find what he (and all of us) are looking for.

— David Arntuffus, Shoreline

Tired of questions about quarterback

Who is better qualified to coach the Seahawks, Pete Carroll or Times columnist Steve Kelley (“Carroll squanders chances on Wilson,” Wednesday)? I’m getting tired of Kelley’s continual harping against Carroll’s choice of starting quarterback for the Hawks, slamming Wilson and raving about the current backup QB.

— Tom Camfield,

Port Townsend

Stubborn Carroll hurting Hawks

Thank you for Steve Kelley’s column on the Seahawks’ situation at quarterback. In my opinion, coach Pete Carroll has become totally unreasonable in his stubborn insistence on using Russell Wilson. I hope Kelley keeps reminding him!

— S. Olsen, Bellevue

Brandon Mitalas

Inspiring story of a helper, hero

A big thanks to Steve Kelley for writing an inspiring piece about Brandon Mitalas (“Toll of war,” Tuesday). I spent two tours on active duty in the Marine Corps, and I can attest to Mitalas’ remarks about Marines being conditioned to handle issues on their own. It is an integral part of my identity and self-image.

An article depicting him as being “broken” would have been devastating for Brandon. No Marine wants others to consider him/her as a victim. Thank you for portraying him for what he really is: a helper, a healer and a hero.

— Katherine Degel, Leavenworth

Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or email to: sports@seattletimes.com.

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