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Letters / Our readers speak out

Stance on females at Augusta 'galling'

For years I've enjoyed playing golf with my husband, an activity that is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a sport -- albeit an often frustrating one -- that can be enjoyed in all corners of the globe. I subscribe to the "hit one good shot and you'll keep coming back" philosophy of this storied sport.

It's hard to fathom, then, that the Augusta National Golf Club, the Super Bowl of golf tournaments, operates in some parallel era, one in which discrimination against women is still thriving nearly 80 years after the inception of the tournament. Even more galling, the club defiantly adheres to standards that were the norm when Augusta National began in 1933.

In that year, gasoline cost 10 cents a gallon, the average laborer's wages were $20 a week and a loaf of bread could be had for a mere seven cents.

While things have changed dramatically in the world and the U.S. has seen women and minorities ascend to powerful positions in the country, the Augusta National Golf Club inexplicably operates in a vacuum where discrimination is pompously defended.

While I sat on the edge of my seat as Bubba Watson pulled off an improbable victory -- complete with his pink driver -- it struck me that the 365 acres that represent one of most majestic sports venues in the world is actually a symbol of repression and overt discrimination. Augusta's current president, Billy Payne, arrogantly deflected questions about why women are not allowed to be members of the Golf Club. He said that the question of female membership is not talked about.

Perhaps Virginia Rometty would have a different view. Rometty shattered the glass ceiling in January when she was named the first female CEO of IBM. Traditionally Augusta has offered memberships to the chief executive officers of Exxon and AT&T and IBM, the three corporations that sponsor the Masters. All have been men -- until now.

Now that Rometty is professionally connected to this tournament, will the old guard wake up, smell the coffee and realize that women are no longer relegated to making it?

Time to get with the program, Augusta. You're incredibly overdue.

Brenda Alesii

Williamsville

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Torres suspension too little, too late

The 25-game suspension given to Raffi Torres by the NHL is too little, too late. Far too long many players have been injured by the reckless intent to injure play of the NHL.

Hitting from behind into the boards, elbow to the head, late hits with no puck around, leaving your feet to check, knee to knee hits, and the wearing of plastic shoulder and elbow pads don't help the situation either. Does the players Union condone this type of play?

Why didn't the NHL start with at least with a 10 game minimum suspension (with hefty fines -- suspension due to double and triple for repeated offenses) when this kind of play started to come in to the NHL, instead of a one- or two-game hand slap?

Players careers have ended with this kind of unacceptable play. What will it take to open their eyes? A broken neck? Oh wait, that already happened and the guilty player only received a 20 game suspension, imagine that. How about permanent ejection from the NHL when idiotic things like that happen.

It's time for a new commissioner. Somebody that knows about the NHL.

How about Ken Dryden? If he is willing.

Andrew Allen

Hamburg

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Bisons need to add another great to fence

As a former retired Buffalo Bisons usher, 13 years, I continue to wonder why there are only three former Bisons displayed on the left field fence in the outfield. They are Ollie Carnegie, Luke Easter and Jeff Manto.

The Bisons have been in existence for 126 years. You mean to tell me in all that time there are only three players worthy of that great honor? I realize that in the upstairs club section there are former players in the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame, but why not promote one or two to the outfield wall?

Growing up as a teenager I used to go to Offermann Stadium and watch my all-time favorite Bisons player Coaker Triplett. I would like to nominate him to be the fourth person on the wall. In a span of three years (1948-50), he averaged .337 and drove in 74 runs each year.

Jim Mathews

East Amherst

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Sabres management needs shake up

If the Toronto Maple Leafs can come out and apologize to their fans for their awful season, then the Buffalo Sabres should do the same.

Mr. Pegula, Ruff and Regier must go. If you take a carton of milk out of your fridge and it's gone sour, you don't put it back in your fridge hoping that it will be fresh the next day. Ruff and Regier have been here way too long and they can't even take the team to the playoffs let alone win the Stanley Cup.

Do what all other teams have done, fire the people responsible for the team's failures.

James Ziolkowski

Buffalo

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Lakers' World Peace gets off too easy

Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest now called Metta World Peace or Metta whatever got off to easy.

A seven-game suspension for his intentional elbow which had intent to harm written all over it. Violence has no place in professional or any level of sport. Metta World Peace should change his name, again.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.