Having recently returned to my native Washington area after a 14-year hiatus, I've noticed with disgust your decision to start treating the Baltimore Orioles as if they were Washington's home team. You assign them beat reporters, scream their exploits in your headlines, and this one really makes me sick -- put their name in large black type in the American League standings.

This is an undignified, bush league display of disloyalty and shortsightedness. From the apathy that now appears to be prevalent here, far too few people seem to care.

But that in no way excuses you. Permit me to point out a blunder to you Johnny-come-latelys who have come to town presuming that you could replace the likes of Shirley Povich and Bob Addie.

You characters are working against our ever getting a new franchise here. You're playing right into the hands of people in Buffalo and Denver when they say, "Washington already has a baseball team: the Orioles."

When I dust off my childhood scrapbooks, the lovingly preserved old sports-page headlines don't proclaim the feats of Wilhelm, Robinson or Weaver, but Vernon, Sievers, Killebrew and the unforgettable Frank Howard. And the newspaper masthead on those old clippings is that of the once-proud Washington Post.

You dehumanized young journalism majors need to realize that there's more to one's home team than just physical proximity. A city is a living thing; it has a heart, and you've got to respect that.

I want the return of baseball to Washington only a little bit more than I'd like to see the return of an intelligent, streetwise and fiercely loyal newspaper staff. Ned Fuller Arlington

Wise Up on Soccer

It is bad enough the U.S. television networks do not show the World Cup due to their perception of fan interest or maybe it is because they cannot incessantly interrupt the action with commercial advertisements. However, the last thing I want, especially since The Washington Post has done such a marvelous job covering the World Cup, is the editorial ignorance of Tony Kornheiser, "Kicking Around Ideas" (July 5).

Kornheiser is abysmal in his lack of knowledge about soccer, the World Cup and the overall joy of attending such an event. Who cares whether he thinks that penalty kicks should end a match that has already lasted 120 grueling minutes or that the score has to be 7-5 to be exciting! Many fans believe that a 1-0 no-hit baseball game is an excellent demonstration of the sport. Hopefully, in the future, Mr. Kornheiser will stick to commenting about sports he knows something about and spare us his misplaced satire. Gregory E. Gorman Washington, D.C.

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