Bravo for the opinion-page article "Fan to Baseball: Call My Agent," April 11. I am shocked to learn this year that more than 250 baseball players are being paid in excess of $1 million for eight months of service. Most of them don't seem to realize that earning that kind of money should include some basic tenets, such as being good role models and participating in public service. Too many of these highly paid mercenaries refuse to sign autographs and often conspicuously make fools of themselves in public, insulting the intelligence of the fans who ultimately pay their inflated incomes. Some talented but callous ones don't seem to care what is thought of them. I long for the Stan Musial-type player who exhibited high ethics and set a good example for our kids, and who did not exploit his top earnings (for those days) in a conspicuous manner.
Equally shocking is the greed of baseball club owners who pay enormous money for mediocre talent. It shouldn't surprise us someday to see the bankruptcy of some of these teams that will be unable to support the unreasonable salaries, especially when unprofitable TV contracts are not renewed.
We have stopped paying to see baseball games in our family, and I know others who feel the same way.
Arthur T. Morey, Ballwin, Mo.
Gender bias in the news The report on gender bias in major US newspapers "Study Finds Gender Bias in Newspaper Stories," April 11, is alarming but not very surprising. While the study by the Women, Men, and Media Project at the University of Southern California indicates that only 11 percent to 12 percent of Page 1 references are to women, that generally reflects the disappointing percentages of women in leadership positions in government, business, higher education, and international affairs, where women are just beginning to
emerge. As the Monitor itself recently pointed out in its "Women and Leadership" issue, Feb. 15, females now account for 5.6 percent of the membership of Congress, 18 percent of state legislative seats, three governors, and 8.9 percent of county governing boards. Except for female mayors (as in Houston, Washington, Hartford) or a few female governors, you rarely see many specific women mentioned on Page 1 except as victims, in scandals, or in stories about their husbands.
Major US daily newspapers can indeed help remedy this problem by encouraging and supporting (on the editorial page) qualified women to enter public service. These publications can also urge Congress and state legislatures to pass campaign-finance reform and/or term limitations that give women a fair and reasonable chance to compete.
Women are getting more coverage in the sports and business sections. The front page should be next.
George A. Dean, Southport, Conn.
Hard-working Russians While usually an ardent fan of Jeff Danziger, I must take issue with his cartoon April 9, which lampoons the plight of Russian citizens. I spent several weeks last summer touring a small part of western Russia. The one impression that stayed with me wherever I traveled was of people working very hard at any task, be it harvesting crops by hand, carrying back-breaking loads of construction materiel, or doggedly hustling tourists. Russians are more than willing to work hard, very hard. The "No Hard Workin g
" sign held by a protester in the cartoon is as misleading as it is insulting. Danziger should know better!
Lucy Harrison, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Taking democracy for granted The article "Filipinos Revel in Start of 1992 Election Campaign," April 2, is an embarrassment to the American public, or at least should be. Despite economic troubles, the Filipinos are preparing a year and a half in advance for elections. There are already 10 contenders just itching to take Aquino's place. The Filipinos are proud of their newly restored democracy and are taking full advantage of their right to vote.
Here in the United States people take for granted the great democratic government our forefathers fought hard to create. The only people interested in the upcoming 1992 presidential election here are the party leaders. In the Philippines, election interests range from Aquino and her officials to the poorest citizen. Americans can learn a valuable lesson from the Filipinos: Take advantage of what you have. America, where are your roots?
Erica Miller, Florence, Ala.