We would like to pass along a word of thanks to those people who have expressed their support for the Chiefs following Jeff Kramer’s recent article. It was nice to see a few positive letters to the editor published on Sunday.  We wanted to pass along two more responses to Jeff Kramer’s article that were submitted to the Post-Standard.  Since Patty Campbell’s letter did not appear in the paper and part of of Howard Dolgon’s letter didn’t make it to print, here are both letters in their entirety.  (The omitted lines from Dolgon’s letter are in red).

To the editor:

One of the few objective and verifiable comments in Jeff Kramer’s column of March 2, 2007 about the Syracuse Chiefs is that John Simone has been affiliated with the organization for the past 28 years.  In other words, for 27 years before Mr. Kramer decided to make himself a part of things here, John Simone worked tirelessly to keep Triple-A baseball alive and active in Syracuse.  And Mr. Kramer’s concern about dwindling fan base and uninspired baseball notwithstanding, the simple and real fact is that over the years, generation after generation of thousands upon thousands of fans have found great joy and fun following the Chiefs.  Are things perfect?  No.  Are we working to improve things and re-energize our fans?  Yes, we are.  Over three hundred people recently turned out for the Syracuse Chiefs 46th Annual Hot Stove Night.

In life, some people bring an energetic optimism to uplift their community, while others, like Mr. Kramer, use intellectually uninspired pessimism to tear it down.  People such as tex and John Simone, Nancy Cantor, and members of “40 Below” choose to work towards building and strengthening our community.

Those who serve on the Chiefs’ Board of Directors volunteer their time to keep Triple-A baseball in Syracuse and to insure that any parent, child, husband, wife or friend can enjoy America’s pastime.  They work so that throughout the summer everyone can come out and see a potential Major Leaguer at an affordable price.

A little irony, a little humor, a little wit goes a long way.  Sarcasm is a cut below all of that, and what Mr. Kramer writes is a few levels below pure sarcasm.  It’s mean, unconstructive, and in no way humorous.  Maybe instead of concerning himself with medical diagnoses as to who is and who is not “sclerotic”, Mr. kramer ought to return to his efforts at being a humorist.  Because right now, he just ain’t funny.

Patricia C. Campbell
Vice President
Community Owned Baseball Club of CNY

To the editor:

I don’t know Jeff Kramer personally and quite frankly, I don’t normally read his column. In truth, I never read it. But when someone brought his recent (March 2) – – and not at all humorous – – column on Syracuse Chiefs general manager John Simone to my attention, I felt compelled to comment.

As an owner of a professional sports team (Syracuse Crunch) I’ve certainly developed thick skin over the past 13 years. During that time we’ve earned our fair share of criticism and praise from fans, the media and even local politicians. It comes with the territory. I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with columnists Bud Poliquin, Sean Kirst and our beat reporter, Lindsay Kramer. But I’ve always respected their opinion and professionalism.

I can’t say the same for Jeff Kramer.

Professionalism? Kramer seized the opportunity to sit-in on a SU management class in which Simone was voluntarily lecturing on the subject of sports marketing. How ironic, our not very humorous, humor columnist, must have thought. What a great opportunity to rehash, ad nauseum, all the stuff that’s been written and re-written and re-re-written about the Chiefs, the stadium, etc., etc., etc. Must have been a slow humor day in the Salt City.

Funny guy. Actually, pretty pathetic and mean-spirited if you ask me.

I don’t know John Simone all that well nor do I know how he runs his organization. What I do know about him is that he’s a good guy whose heart is in the right place. He’s lived and died Syracuse baseball for more than half his life and has kept a pro team in town when many other cities have lost their franchises.

A few years ago I attended a Chiefs game with a bunch of friends. Simone was sitting a few sections away when a foul ball was hit near our area. A group of men and one young boy chased the ball, with one of the older fellows eventually scooping it up. The youngster was visibly upset. An inning later, much to my surprise (because I didn’t think he noticed what had occured) Simone brought the kid a brand new baseball. A class act in my book.

Simone didn’t have to speak at the management school. With the Chiefs season quickly approaching, I’m impressed that he made the time and effort to do so. I’m sure he’s working 15-18 hour days in preparation for his home opener.

It’s always easy to take the lazy route, to take a cheap shot at a vulnerable target. But that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Or the professional thing.

Like I said, I don’t know Jeff Kramer. I do know that he’s not funny. That he showed no class. That he should be ashamed of himself. And that humor really isn’t his strength.

Howard Dolgon
Syracuse Crunch

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