- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Thank you for your honesty in dealing with Daryl Strawberry's decisions. Sports (and ultimately, society) suffers every time an athlete's criminal and destructive behavior is excused. Too many people are willing to overlook such behavior because of the athlete's prowess on the playing field. I am not shedding any tears for Mr. Strawberry. He made decisions, and there can be no excuses.

Joe Torre battled cancer. He did not resort to illegal drugs or violate his marriage vows (not to mention possibly jeopardizing his wife's health) to deal with his crisis. Other people have had to confront challenges as bad or worse than Mr. Strawberry's, but they have dealt with them bravely and honorably.

I do shed a tear for Mr. Strawberry's children. His wife can decide to stay with him, despite his many actions that show a lack of concern for his family's well-being, his infidelity toward her, his willingness to ignore his responsibility as a father to demonstrate the character and self-discipline needed to be a decent person. I would never keep a man like that around the house, and I surely would not have more children with him. I feel bad for the children, who cannot leave and probably are desperate for a dad who cares more about them than his own pleasures.

You are right as rain in suggesting to Mr. Strawberry that he concentrate solely on getting his life back in order, not because fans and baseball deserve it, not to salvage his legacy, but to ensure that his five children don't grow up to be like him. If his children grow up to be as selfish and uncaring as he is, who will care how many home runs he hit?

DEB FERRELL-LYNN

Edmond, Okla.

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