As a native Washingtonian, I am a little cynical about the statement of John McHale Jr., Major League Baseball's executive vice president of administration, that "if we weren't serious about Washington, D.C., we wouldn't be here" [Metro, May 7].

Since Senators owner Bob Short left after the 1971 season, baseball and Washington have been doing a slow dance to an orchestra led by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos and his predecessors. All demographic data suggest that the fourth-largest market in the country can support two teams, particularly when similar-size markets have been successful in doing so.

Nor does Washington deserve its reputation among some as being a poor sports town. In 1969, the only year in my lifetime in which the Senators had a winning record, they drew more than 900,000 fans. Given the fact that the D.C.-Baltimore market now numbers more than 7 million, there is no reason to think that a baseball team couldn't draw 1.5 million to 2 million fans, provided that its stadium is centrally located.

If baseball is truly "serious" about the District, the only way to prove it is through action.

BRUCE N. SHULMAN

Silver Spring