Fans neverforgave Belle
Dear Fanfare,
It's nice to see the Indian fans are so forgiving of John Rocker and the comments he made in 1999. They have welcomed him with open arms just as they did Robbie Alomar and Wil Cordero (two players with troubled pasts too). If these Indian fans are so loving, then why couldn't they forgive Albert Belle? Whether Indian fans like to hear it or not, but Belle was the foundation of this Indian renaissance of the 1990s. Belle put the Indians on the map with his hard play and winning attitude. He produced in the clutch on many occasions. Without Belle, the Indians would still be languishing in that old stadium and playing in front of only 6,000 fans.
The Indian fans showed a lack of class when they booed Manny Ramirez when he returned to Jacobs Field. Manny is a quiet player who never causes trouble. Since he left Cleveland, most Indian fans have tried to take any cheap shot they can at Manny. Why? Manny never spit at an umpire. Manny never made any racial comments either. The fans love to poke fun at the lack of Manny's intelligence (like John Rocker is some genius????).
When Patrick Ewing made his return to Madison Square Garden this year with the Seattle Super Sonics, he was greeted by a two-minute standing ovation from the New York Knick fans. New York fans showed more class than Cleveland fans.
So when the Indian fans booed Belle and continue to boo Ramirez they should stop for a second and remember all the good things these two did while wearing that Indian uniform ... and then try and justify cheering for a racist.
Ricky S. George
Pitzulo shouldstay as coach
What are the most desirable characteristics and results one should expect from a high school athletic coach? While we may all have slightly different lists, I would guess that most would include the ability to:
1) Teach his sport and develop his players both athletically and morally.
2) Instill the concept of teamwork.
3) Promote sport as a fun activity with life-long lessons and benefits.
4) Achieve some team success.
By all criteria, Sam Pitzulo, Canfield High School junior varsity baseball coach, is a highly successful coach. In five years, his team's record is 75-18, an 81% winning percentage. That is the least of his achievements. He has accomplished this marvelous record by using all the players on his team.
Former players have remarked that & quot;He would do anything to make the game fun ... He knows it's high school ... His love for the game is unreal & quot;, and & quot;He taught us how to play the game, how to respect one another and instilled morals into us that we use to this day. & quot;
Why, then is Mr. Pitzulo's job in jeopardy? The Canfield Board of Education and Superintendent Douglas Hiscox have presented no valid reason for his dismissal other than unsubstantiated claims of letters and verbal complaints from parents upset that their children could not get more playing time. It is very disturbing that a bad decision can be forced by those hiding behind the apron strings of anonymity. It does not speak well of either Mr. Hiscox or those Board members who support this action.
It doesn't seem that the function of the Canfield High School athletic department should be to serve parents of elite athletes or those imagined to be elite. If a student is selected to be on a team, he or she should expect to participate in games. This should be apparent to all, particularly at the junior varsity level. It is gratifying to know that the varsity baseball coach and both the outgoing and incoming athletic director support Coach Pitzulo.
Canfield High School athletics have achieved great success in the past several years and the community takes justifiable pride in that success. The quality of the coaching staffs at Canfield High School is obviously top notch. Yet, the rosters of major league baseball, the NFL, the NBA or WNBA show no Canfield High School alumni. Should the entire staff be replaced? Of course not.
Wake up, Mr. Hiscox. Recommend to the Board that Sam Pitzulo be re-hired.
Mark Neddy

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