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letters | sticking points on the baseball diamond

Want to apply pine tar? Check the thermostat

Yvonne Abraham is right that pine tar creates a sticky situation in baseball (“Why stick to the rules?” Metro, April 27), especially when a parent is trying to explain why blatant use of the substance is grounds for a pitcher’s suspension, while if that same pitcher can sneak the substance onto his hand, then he’s permitted to use it. The umpires look the other way, as do team managers, if you hide the stuff well enough. What a great lesson to be teaching children.

There is a very easy solution to this problem. Commissioner Bud Selig and the gang of baseball gurus should choose an air temperature below which the use of pine tar is permitted on a pitcher’s hand. If the purpose is really to give the pitcher better control in colder weather so that he doesn’t hurl the ball accidentally at the batter, then that’s the reason for the rule.

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How hard is that to figure out?

Mixed messages about ethics are confusing to children, and should be to adults as well.

Betty Ungar Lapide

Newton

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