What readers are saying

Kobe Bryant

Let the system work

Kobe Bryant is accused of rape. He is accused, not convicted. Because there is enough evidence in the case for prosecutors to feel that his standing trial for rape is appropriate, he must undergo a trial to determine the "truth" as best it can be proved in court.

Steve Kelley (Seattle Times, Oct. 10) asked if he should play ball. I say, yes! Because otherwise, all this talk about "alleged perpetrator" and "alleged crime" will be meaningless. He is "presumed innocent." If at the outcome he is found guilty, it will be at that point that it will be appropriate to discuss the next step.

Kobe's guilt is yet to be decided, but the guilt of those who contribute to the disparagement of an "alleged victim" of violence is not. Those who throw invective at a young woman who is following due process as set up by our laws, trample the rights of all citizens. They seek to shame her, discredit her and hound her with accusations and lies. It seems to me that she has not received, even from Kobe's attorney herself, the basic rights that our system has guaranteed Kobe, the protection of "presumed innocence."

In my opinion, those who seek to harm the "alleged victim" harm us all. An intrusive news media and loud-mouthed, self-proclaimed potentates need to back off, leave the "alleged victim" alone and let Kobe play ball. Let the system do what it is designed to do.

Richenda Fairhurst, Camas

Sonics

Turkey was maligned

Steve Kelley's piece about the Sonics' Richie Frahm (Seattle Times, Oct. 8) is a shame. It is degrading and also misleading. I know that a story about a soul who is resurrected from hell (a modern-day Persephone perhaps) is more juicy than the plain truth but it gives you no right to mislead your readers about a country or its people.

Turkish league consists of 14 teams and last year, 27 American players were participating, not to mention other athletes in other sports. And none of them shared Frahm's worries. But these are all personal. Frahm might have been afraid, I can understand that. But saying there was anti-American sentiment directed toward him is absurd. There has not been any case of such nature. There has been some protests on the streets, but such protests were exercised by a very little minority and no American person were ever abused verbally.

And about his weird story about the rifleman in the woods. Running in the woods is a traditional method of conditioning used throughout the world. And that rifleman Frahm referring to is using an airgun throwing harmless darts at targets. That is just a funny pastime you can find in any county fair. Turkey is not a place where riflemen are on the loose in the woods.

There is one truth in Frahm's story, though. His coach in Turkey, Halil Uner, uses ridiculous tactics. He might have misled and misinformed Frahm to give more effort. He might have tried to use this fear factor in order to motivate Frahm. I've heard something like that after Frahm left. Apparently Uner's petty tactics backfired.

But this is no excuse to condemn a nation without proper information and background check. Using "bombs are dropping on Baghdad" in every paragraph and painting this picture of a country ruled by anarchy and chaos might be a good work of fiction but that doesn't or rather should not belong in a newspaper.

I just wanted to inform you that this article was translated into Turkish and was published in the national newspaper Milliyet. There is tremendous grief.

Kaan Kural, Istanbul

Mariners

A vote for DePodesta

I would love to see the M's consider Paul DePodesta, the No. 2 guy in the Oakland Athletics organization. He is a young guy and certainly possesses several of the characteristics needed. I gather he'd be able to manage a budget with more creativity than Gillick has the past four years. I understand the "good guy" theory as well as "veteran presence" or leadership. But what could a young, supposedly brilliant baseball mind like DePodesta do with Mariners resources if not a slave to these concepts?

McLemore and his below-average glove and bat at $3 million along with Greg Colbrunn's $1.5 million contract (and the loss of a first-round draft pick) would be a thing of the past. Why do we keep Dan Wilson at $7 million over two years when we get far better offensive production (and not a huge defensive drop) from Ben Davis at $500,000 per? Pat Borders can certainly provide the veteran savvy that Wilson does.

Oakland regularly gets solid bench guys and key role players off the scrap heap (Eric Byrnes, Billy McMillon) that collectively cost less than one of our bench guys.

A fresh mind like DePodesta would have the ingenuity and creativity to get players like that and occasionally step outside the "percentage play" mentality that has crippled the Mariners.

Shawn McLaughlin, Olympia

Seat-of-the-pants solution

Since the middle of September, when the Mariners' collapse began to appear inevitable, I have been reading columns and listening to commentators on sports radio asserting their opinions on what the Mariners need to do to get over the hump next season.

There is only one real solution, and I have yet to hear anyone even hint at it. The solution flows from a lesson the Mariners can take from the Red Sox.

The Red Sox have the highest ticket prices in all of baseball, and are the only team whose attendance has gone up each of the last six seasons. They also finished in the top 10 for total attendance despite having the oldest, smallest and least comfortable stadium in baseball. There are a few reasons for this, some of which the Mariners can replicate, some they cannot.

The average cost of a ticket at Boston's quaint and historic Fenway Park is $29 higher than the average ticket price at spacious and luxurious Safeco Field.

The Mariners have been near the top of the league in total attendance since the stadium opened, and this year finished second with more than 3 million fans. This is an asset that management must show the courage to capitalize on in order to give the fans what they crave and give the team what it needs to make the dream of a World Series appearance a reality.

So, what is the solution? The Mariners should announce tomorrow that they are adding $35 million to their salary budget for the coming season. In order to do so, they are going to take $9 million from existing and projected revenues and promotions with the other $26 million to come from an $8 per seat (average) ticket price increase for next season.

If they do not take this step, the other steps they take will ultimately be window dressing on the road to yet another season of being a competitive team that does not have the stamina, tools or competitive edge to be there at the finish line.

Saul Drevitch, Bellevue

Right time, wrong place

Imagine what might have happened if the M's had made a few moves, acquiring someone like Aaron Boone, for instance. It could have made the difference the Mariners needed to win the division or wild card. Instead, I'm watching an exciting playoff team in a very excited city. I just wish it was my team.

Andrew Gall, Chicago

Women's World Cup

Times dropped the ball

I am very disappointed in the Seattle Times' coverage of the Women's World Cup soccer. Here is/was a perfect opportunity to have the best women soccer players from all over the world showcased in the paper and to have women athletes in the front of the media as role models to young girls. The recognition of women athletes is important for young girls to have something to aspire to as they grow older. Coverage by your paper could have interested girls in watching those games — cheering, having fun, and learning about the sport.

Please support our young women athletes by highlighting women's sports!

Heather Hamashima, Federal Way

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