Sometimes people have the courage to own up to their mistakes and take responsibility for them. Phil Esposito and Steve Oto are not of this ilk. The reasons are ever apparent in their dealings with Terry Crisp, the players and the fans.
Crisp was fired, with no regard to his feelings or basic human consideration. He was not told until the embarrassment of showing up at a practice two days after the decision was made to fire him drew attention to the situation. A gentleman and loyal employee that Crisp was should have been given the consideration he earned and deserved. The firing of Crisp was a sham and the Lightning has lost a valuable asset.
Secondly, the players are expected to win and give 100 percent. But the organization has made no effort to convince the players that the goal is to build a class organization. How can we expect the players to give more than the organization is willing to give?
And now the fans are being cheated. They are paying high prices for an event that is showcasing an inferior product. No wonder the attendance is going down.
Phil and Steve, start taking responsibility for your action. We all know that Crisp was given inferior talent to work with. That was the fault of Mr. Esposito and Mr. Oto. Esposito's dislike of Crisp was very public.
Let's put Esposito behind the bench and let him see what incompetence he has created.
Bob Horrow, Tierre Verde
The reason the Tampa Bay Lightning is not winning runs far deeper than the coach. The firing of Crisp will not win games. He was and still is an excellent coach. Crisp will be missed by players and fans.
The major problem is that the current owners have failed to improve the team by spending more money to acquire better players. Until a new group buys the Lightning and is willing to open its pocket books to improve the team, the Bolts will not have enough talent to compete in the NHL.
Terry Mihulka, Hudson
Fernandez deserves credit, not blame
I'm not sure whose idea it was to pick Tony Fernandez as the Cleveland Indians Game 7 goat, but that is all wrong! If Jose Mesa had done his job in the ninth inning, there would not have been an 11th inning! Fernandez is the reason the Indians made it to the World Series. He is also the reason that Cleveland had two runs on the board. He doesn't deserve to be cast in this light.
Mesa is the goat as far as I am concerned. He needed just two more outs, but he couldn't keep his pitches out of the dirt. He has been inconsistent all year. Watch to see what happens with Mesa in the off-season. I think he will be traded or exposed to the expansion draft.
Beverly Hopkins, Palm Harbor
Baseball name leaves
fans feeling out at home
I completely agree with the editorial page letter that said the name of the St. Petersburg baseball team should not be the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I think Vince Naimoli missed the boat when he didn't include the whole Suncoast when he named the team.
I have talked to many people who said they were going to buy tickets until they heard the name. If you listen to the baseball commentators, you will hear them call it the Tampa team that plays in some place called Tropicana Field. No one up north understands that Tampa Bay is more than just Tampa.
Ren Whitney, St. Petersburg