Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor

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Don’t fence this team in

So the fences at Safeco Field are the problem with the Mariners, and they need to be moved in?

If you look at the major-league ballpark field dimensions, out of the 30 major-league teams, many other teams have longer distances to the four corners. If No. 1 is the shortest ballpark fences, and No. 30 the farthest, the Mariners are No. 17 in distance to left field, 16 to left-center field, 22 to center, 7 to right center, 11 to right and 13 in overall distance for all four measurements. In other words, they’re in the middle of the pack, and there are many more teams with longer distances than Safeco.

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Batters need to get used to the fences where they are and quit making excuses.

— Fred Riler, Issaquah

Play to park’s strengths

There is so much hype surrounding the hitting woes of Mariners batters at Safeco Field. I offer this opinion: Utilize and play to the strengths of our ballpark as opposed to bringing in the fences.

Our players should be stealing more bases, having better at-bats that could result in more walks and driving the ball to the gaps more.

Our great ballpark was built with the intention of making it more pitcher-friendly. The Mariners haven’t been a team that can wait around for a three-run homer for a long time. Pitching, timely hitting and defense can always be a formula for success.

— Jeff Swanson, Everett

Finally seeing Jones in Seattle

It was painful reading Jerry Brewer’s column (“Let this remind us, patience is MLB virtue,” Thursday). In 2007 my wife and I had season tickets to the Tacoma Rainiers. After watching Adam Jones hit a home run that passed through the lights above the left-field wall at Cheney Stadium, I remember saying to my wife, “We get to watch this guy here and with the big team for the next 10 or 15 years. Should be quite a ride!” I was utterly shocked when they traded Jones, who seemed to have major-league star written.

Well, my wife and I did get to enjoy watching Adam on July 4 at Safeco Field. Unfortunately, he was playing for Baltimore.

— Steve Alberts, Vashon

AAA team at big-league price

Who would have ever believed that only 11 years after winning 116 games, the entire Mariners team would be hitting below the Mendoza line at home. What we have here is Class AAA ball at major-league prices, the odd scintillating win not withstanding. Twenty-seven years of season tickets is getting more difficult by the day.

— Denny Birk, Seattle

Ichiro not part of future

Ichiro has been a great player for the Mariners, and I respect all of his accomplishments since he arrived here in 2001.

That said, I don’t believe in honoring past performance with present-day special treatment.

Ichiro at this point in his career is a below-average leadoff hitter, and a below-average right fielder. He should now be treated similarly to the other players on the team. Wouldn’t platooning and/or more days off be advisable? Shouldn’t other young and potentially valuable right-field candidates be given more chance to perform?

Ichiro is not part of the future; he’s part of the past. Let the young guys get more chances to perform in right field.

— Mike Shaw, Edmonds


Two stars too many

Sounders FC has great players, but with two superstars up front, who scores?

They both want to score, and both have the winning mentality. Ever since Fredy Montero, the star from Day 1, and Eddie Johnson, the new kid and ex-national team player, both have started, the team chemistry in the attack has been disrupted.

We have good players and the best coach around, but if the harmony in the attack is not smooth and flowing, the defense can only hold for so long.

Can both deliver together?

— Gary Hunter


Evans’ stories are special

I want you to know how much I appreciate and enjoy the sports stories written by Jayda Evans. Her descriptions and insights are concise and fair. The recent Q&A series she started on Storm and WNBA players and personnel is outstanding. Evans has the rare touch that makes sportswriting exciting because it delivers the writer’s knowledge with warmth and clarity (rather than pomposity).

Now, instead of just reading the section for scores, I read the bulk of the sports section. My thanks to whomever hired Evans, and to her for bringing the Sports section alive.

— Tamara A. Turner, Seattle

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 e-mail to: sports@seattletimes.com.

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