Letters: To play or not to play, this is the MLB question

The Dodgers' Mookie Betts runs during a practice at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2020.
The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts runs during a practice at Dodger Stadium on July 3.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Dylan Hernández is concerned that Mookie Betts might opt not to play this season, as he might delay “an opportunity to secure his family’s financial well-being for generations.”

Mookie earned $10.5 million in 2018. He earned $20 million in 2019. If the 2020 season can be played and Mookie participates, he earns another $10 million for 60 games. He will secure a mega deal for 2021 and beyond. Mookie has already secured his family’s financial well-being. I think Mr. Hernández is pressuring Mookie to play, to secure his own free ticket to the World Series.

Ed Kaz
Oak Park


The decision made by David Price to opt out of the 2020 baseball season due to coronavirus concerns is responsible, ethical, and patriotic. I wish the commissioner of Major League Baseball shared Price’s level of integrity. We do not need professional athletes risking their lives and their families’s lives to entertain a bored, depressed nation.

Andrew Ginsburg
Southport, Conn.



Every day we are presented with examples of morons insisting on their right to infect others because wearing a mask is just too awful a burden. Then we hear that Mike Trout is considering giving up a year of his baseball life for the safety of his family. God bless you, Mike, for setting an example. You may miss the season, but you just hit a home run.

Don Tonty
Los Angeles


There’s nothing normal about the coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season except for one thing — the Dodgers still don’t have a reliable closer.

As a baseball fan, I find Mike Trout to be a true hero, role model for all, and inspiration. He has the proper priorities in life. He sets an example for all. He also knows the proper decision to make right now, but he doesn’t want to let the fans down. It’s OK, Mike! Sit this one out. Be with your family and new baby and cherish the moment. Set another example for us all. Please.

Mark Kramer


David Price choosing to sit out whatever kind of baseball season we have this year is a massive blow to the Dodgers’ chances of winning the World Series for the first time since he was 3 years old. The team will now be forced to go out and find someone to pay over $20 million to maybe last three innings, give up 10 hits and seven earned runs, while taxing the bullpen for the rest of the game to make up for what he would have done if he was on the mound.

Erik Schuman
Fountain Valley

COVID tests us

We’ve gone through the last three months without watching sports on TV and attending games. What’s wrong with waiting until the end of the year?

It’s obvious that today’s athletes seemingly care more about their health and their families than money and are opting out. Wouldn’t we be better served to wait for stronger testing and focus on finding ways to defeat this deadly virus than to defeat their opponents on the field of play? Saying goodbye to our favorite teams for six months is better than saying goodbye to loved ones forever.

Craig London


Here’s a list of some notable athletes who have decided not to take part in the sports’ restart amid the coronavirus crisis.

Every stadium can easily accommodate 2,000 or 3,000 fans socially distanced and wearing masks. Temperature checks would be required at admission.

A lottery would offer some seats for season-ticket holders and some for other fans with proceeds going to local food banks. Stadium food could be ordered by smartphone app, and vendors could place food at the end of the aisle for no-contact pickup. We cannot allow this season to proceed without Dodgers fans present to boo the Astros!

Gail Rock
Santa Monica


Instead of technical gimmicks to enhance fan enjoyment, let’s improve baseball by ending the game after seven innings. Fans in L.A. come late and leave early anyway, so why not make it official? Seriously, if games were shortened, more people could fit them into their schedule, especially families up past midnight. What’s more, most relief pitchers are inserted from the seventh inning on. Earlier endings eliminate the need for a bullpen full of expensive rentals.

Finally, the money saved on relief pitchers can be spent on better hitters — which is why we go to the game in the first place.

Bert Berdis
Los Angeles

In emergency meeting, the California Horse Racing Board determined Los Alamitos Race Course must address its increase in horse deaths within 10 days.

Names again

The city of Red Mesa, Ariz., lies along U.S. Highway 160 on the Navajo Nation reservation. The local high school stands prominently along the roadside with large, proud signage. The school boasts that it is the “home of the Redskins.”

At least for the thousands of Native Americans living within the range of this high school, the R-word signifies some pride in who they are.

Ray Uhler
Laguna Niguel


When I was a kid in the Washington area everyone referred to the football team as the Skins. There was no color associated with the name. No red, white, black, or yellow. Just the Skins! Rename them the Skins.

If not, then maybe the DeeCees.

Mark Kramer


If the Washington Redskins (or Cleveland Indians) are serious about changing their team name to reflect what is currently happening in our society, may I suggest they consider the name the Washington Airmen. This would pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen who were a decorated Black group of pilots who served during World War II. That would be a real social statement.

Joe Blair
Rancho Mission Viejo

Another side

Regarding letters from Peter Shulman (a pediatrician) and Noel Johnson about Tyler Skaggs from last Saturday: I knew Tyler. I was one of his coaches at Santa Monica High and I know his family. Tyler was a bright, talented, young man who loved to make others feel good. He was dedicated and hard-working. Dr. Shulman, you’re a physician. You should know more than anyone that opioid addiction is a physical illness often caused by over-prescribing of painkillers by ... physicians. As far as no one deriving inspiration from the “short, tortured life of Tyler Skaggs,” I will always derive inspiration from it. Addiction can be treated, but hate and vitriol, unfortunately, cannot be.

Steve Freeman
Los Angeles


Tyler Skaggs’ wife and mother don’t deserve the clueless, insensitive and self-righteous attacks of your writers. Addiction has long been known to be a disease, and we should have compassion for those stricken by it and their families. Tyler didn’t choose to become an addict. He did make some bad decisions — so have I. So, I’m willing to bet, have your readers. Lucky for us, ours didn’t catch up with us. I seem to recall something about living in glass houses and throwing stones. And yes, Tyler’s example, even a negative, anti-drug “don’t do this” one, can influence others.

Alice Lowe
San Diego

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey says he will not play this season in order to protect the health of his family amid the coronavirus crisis.


Very sorry to observe three Southern Californians’ take on Tyler Skaggs as “it’s his fault.” That assessment is something right out of the strident, Christian Midwest.

That the L.A. Times elevated his too-soon departure as heroic equally misses the point.

Mental health and drug addiction is a medical finding, not a lifestyle choice. This profile chooses and corners you, and few extricate themselves from such an insidious condition.

If this story of acute suffering, pain and inner turmoil teaches anything, it is the compelling impetus to reach out and seek guidance from a helpless situation, wanting a semblance of control and “normalcy.”

Duff Wilmoth
Laguna Hills

Fake snooze

Now that the 2020 MLB season is on the horizon, I’m wondering about something. With the drastically shortened schedule, major stars opting out, zero fans in the stadiums, who’s going to get the Sigh Yawn Award ?

Joe Kevany
Mount Washington


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