Mr. Ocker:

I saw in the article in your paper regarding the death of Ray Narleski, and that he pitched 3? innings in an All-Star Game.

It would not happen today. You are old enough to remember when the teams really seemed to play to win. Pitchers, especially starters, went three innings. Not everyone got in a nine-inning game.

Todayís players grew up in an era when everyone gets to play and everyone gets a trophy. The managers try very hard to get everyone into the game.

It is truly an exhibition. That is the problem with using the All-Star Game for home-field advantage in the World Series. It is not a legitimate game. No one plays to win.

Tim Abraham

Dear Tim:

I think players still play to win the All-Star Game. Obviously, because the game doesnít count in the standings, they might not try their hardest, and that was always the case.

Using the All-Star Game to decide home-field advantage in the World Series is like letting the winner of a friendly poker game decide which company will insure his neighborsí cars.

Winning or losing the All-Star Game has nothing to do with the World Series, and it makes no sense for a guy from a last-place team to determine home-field advantage because his sacrifice fly drove in the All-Star Gameís winning run.

Sheldon Ocker

Sheldon:

Iím an Indians fan that doesnít live in Cleveland (how many of us are there?), so I donít know how much flak heís taking, but if Ubaldo Jimenez falls flat again this year, Chris Antonetti should be fired.

The information asymmetry in that deal was stunning, and it sure looks like we were the only patsies to bite. I know that we were very concerned about Alex Whiteís finger, so they felt they were trading a front-line starting prospect and a front-line bullpen prospect (not two starters), but wow, do we look dumb, dumb, dumb.

Please keep making noise about this because a resource-strapped club like ours can absolutely not make a mistake like that and hope to contend over any reasonable stretch of time. That deal did and still makes me nauseous.

David Koch

Dear David:

I, too, didnít like the trade when it was made, thinking that the Indians gave away too much for someone who had obvious flaws. But even I didnít think Ubaldo would struggle as he has.

But inasmuch as Iím not the guy who writes the checks, I am perfectly content to let Antonettiís bosses decide whether he should pay with his job if the deal doesnít work out.

S.O.

Sheldon:

If the Indians are thinking that because Johnny Damon played for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees he has appeal, and that he might draw people to the ballpark, there is another older player out there who loves to play baseball, still has a .272 lifetime average and would really draw a crowd.

You want a multitalented player, a good role model and an elder statesman (45) who deserves to come home, itís time to realize the mistake made all those years ago and BRING OMAR BACK.

Pat Authenreith

Cuyahoga Falls

Dear Pat:

Do you really think the club signed Johnny Damon because people will rush to the box office to see him play?

The important thing for you to do is turn the page. Itís a stretch to think that Damon will propel the Tribe into the playoffs. It would be unimaginable to think that Omar could, or that fans would flock to Progressive Field to watch him sit on the bench.

S.O.