Ms. Biederman, get a grip, and get an education where romance novels are concerned. You owe it to yourself, and to the people you have misinformed with your article.

Via e-mail

Christine Biederman responds: I'm not sure if it was the "wrong day of the month." I'll have to consult my calendar.

As for the questions about my sexual orientation and degree of romantic satisfaction, I have been happily married to a man for 10 years--not that it's anyone's business.

I do, however, plead guilty to being a supercilious snob.

Nice ballpark, bad ball
Although the Rangers have been a success at the gate ["Here's the pitch," November 6], they've been a flop on the baseball diamond. The challenge facing the Rangers is how to compete with the deeper pockets of the owners in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Miami. Many small businessmen today find themselves in the same predicament--how do they compete successfully with the Goliaths such as AT&T and Microsoft?

Well, here in the metroplex, Southwest Airlines showed that a small company with enlightened management can rise to the top of the heap. The same holds true for the Rangers.

Before TV and free agency, the New York Yankees were by far the most successful franchise. The Yankees bought Babe Ruth from the financially troubled Red Sox, starting a domination of baseball for decades by simply buying the best players. Their main competition was the financially strapped Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers competed by using their brains, heart, and soul. First, they integrated baseball, tapping into a huge talent pool. Second, they had a hugely successful minor league system supplying even more talent. Again, enlightened management was the foundation for success.

Today, there are at least three successful teams without deep pockets. The Minnesota Twins have won a World Series this decade with a relatively small budget. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos have competed successfully this decade with a budget that is a tiny fraction of the Goliaths'.

The failure of the Rangers can be laid directly at the feet of management. The minor leagues have been unproductive. In addition, baseball starts with pitching and then defense up the middle. The Rangers have a great catcher who is overpaid and probably has peaked. The starting and middle relief pitching is weak. The middle infielders are inadequate. The center fielders either can't hit or can't play defense. In this year's World Series, look at the defense of both shortstops--have the Rangers ever had a shortstop even close in ability?

For the Rangers to compete, they have two options--either get deep pockets, or find some knowledgeable baseball people who know how to draft and a manager who knows how to motivate his players.

Jerry Frankel

A point about the so-called "Peavy Tapes" in our November 20 cover story, "One fine mess," requires clarification. Several versions of the obscenity-laden Dan Peavy tapes exist. The version sent to DISD trustees in September 1995, however, was not recorded by the Peavy neighbor who later pleaded guilty to illegally intercepting some of the former trustee's telephone conversations, according to the neighbor's lawyer, Frank Jackson.

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