Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 26, 2000

Comparisons of players not fair

Things to consider while waiting out yet another pitching change…Why do people in sports keep using the phrase, “He’s/she’s the next…”?In what other area do you hear it being used? Why do we have to compare everybody to yesterday’s superstars? How about just letting them be today’s superstars. They have enough pressure without that extra burden.So far in the NBA playoffs, that term has already been used to compare Grant Hill, Vince Carter and Tim Duncan to Michael Jordan. Wrong. There isonly one Jordan, just like their is only one Hill, Carter and Duncan. Each hastheir own talent that should be appreciated. Comparing them to Jordan isboth unfair to those players and to Jordan.

Or how about Hal Sutton having to deal with comparisons with Tiger Woods after winning the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic this weekend? Woods is the No. 1 golfer in the world right now. Period. Case close. But why doesevery golfer who wins a tournament now have to be compared to Woods? Sutton is a great golfer in his own right, a PGA Champion and a Ryder Cupper.

Let him enjoy his moments in the sun and let us enjoy it along with him without having to deal with comparisons.

Oh, and what’s the big deal about the number of runs being scored in baseball? So scoring is up a little bit. Nothing has been hurt so far, exceptfor the pitchers’ earned run average.

If the ball is so lively, then explain Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. The ball doesn’t travel so far when they’re pitching. Hey, even DaveEiland pitched six shutout innings Sunday. And what, the Detroit Tigers arehitting a different baseball? Ok, if scoring does eventually get out of hand and reach the proportions of the Mississippi State-LSU series on a regular basis, here are a few personal suggestions on helping decrease it.

First and foremost, get rid of the designated hitter. As Bob Costas has said,its purpose, to increase scoring, is obsolete. Even Maddux is batting over.400.Second, raise the pitching mound and go back to four-man pitching staffs.

The Mets started the trend of five-man pitching staffs when they had players like Seaver, Koosman, Ryan and. Most staffs today don’t have threegood arms much less five. Even the Braves are struggling to find a fourthstarter this season. And the fifth starters could go towards strengtheningthe short relief staffs, something else many teams are struggling with.

Third, stop calling up every young pitcher who wins 10 games in the minors.

Give them time to develop. In the past, even the best pitchers spent four orfive years in the minors.

Yo, Butch Carter, stop worrying about what other players are saying about you and start worrying about how your own are performing. A few moreperformances like that against the Knicks and you will have plenty of time to work on your lawsuit in the offseason.

You have to hand it to the NBA, though. At least the games so far have beenrelatively close. Maybe fans will start filling those empty seats if thatcontinues.

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