Congratulations to Larry Keith for an outstanding article (A Bunt That Went Boom! July 31). It shows the side of Reggie Jackson many people despise and the side of Billy Martin many respect.
WALLY WALKUP JR.
Beckley, W. Va.
Terrific article! It proved one thing to me: Reggie Jackson is the most conceited and overpaid player in all of sports. I don't understand why he's considered a superstar when his season average has never been above .293. And when a man getting paid $580,000 has been unable to execute a successful sacrifice bunt for six years, something is obviously wrong. Nobody will ever convince me that Jackson didn't know he was a very poor bunter when he defied management, so I feel Martin's actions were fully justified.
Because Martin will again manage the Yankees in 1980 (Doing Much...and Much Ado, Aug. 7), I hope this means Jackson will be gone by then.
Reggie Jackson gets my vote simply for retaining his sanity since joining the Yankees. I hope he has another great year!
August 13, 1978
Shipbuilder George Steinbrenner's latest version of a Yankee team is sinking fast. Without Skipper Billy Martin at the helm, the Yankee Clipper (no relation to Joe) has struck a REGGIE! bar in Boston Harbor and is now stuck with a Lemon. There is no escape, because the Rivers is dry and the ship has a Dent in it. It's there in black and White. The staff is getting baseballs rammed down its Gullett. Their Goose is cooked. Second Baseman Willie has become Won't He and the Munson Burner has fallen victim to the gas shortage. Could a Spark ignite him? No, I can hear Taps Blairing. What will happen next? It's hard to Figueroa. Can Tallis tell us? Guidry is giddy, but the Beattie goes on and the Hunter has become the hunted. They're living on Tid Row. I just can't Berra it! What the Houk can I do?
Floral Park, N.Y.
Help! Please, I don't want to hear another word about the continuing drama of the New York Yankees and Billy Martin. The only possible conclusion to this bizarre media overkill is for Martin to give birth to a test-tube baby while trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon.
WILLIAM G. PAPA
New York City
In Larry Keith's article A Bunt That Went Boom (July 31), he says, "In various ways Steinbrenner, Jackson, fate—and the Red Sox—all worked against [Billy Martin]." Do you mean that the Brewers, who have won nine of 10 from New York, including all seven at Milwaukee this year, haven't had an effect on the Yankees' fourth-place standing?
DAN VAN HANDEL
DAVE VAN HANDEL
On the day this letter is being typed (July 27), the Milwaukee Brewers are proud owners of the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year (Paul Molitor), two of the top five home-run hitters in the American League (Gorman Thomas and Larry Hisle), two of the winningest pitchers in the majors (Lary Sorensen and Mike Caldwell), one of the leading hitters in the American League (Sixto Lezcano), the third-best record in either league and several players near the top in just about every major league category except Big League Malcontents.
We know it's hard for you to believe, but there is exciting, topnotch baseball being played in cities other than Boston and New York.
Give us good ol' boys down here in Atlanta a break (BASEBALL'S WEEK, July 31)! The last major league pitcher before Cleveland's Mike Paxton to fan four batters in one inning was our own Philip H. Niekro on July 29, 1977 in a 5-3 win over the Pirates. Somebody apparently misread The Book of Baseball Records. Mike Cuellar (May 29, 1970) was the last American League pitcher to perform the feat.
Atlanta Braves Television
I am a bit upset at the lack of respect shown the Atlanta Braves in Mike DelNagro's report. The Braves have a lot of young talent, and with the growing support of the fans, the return of suspended owner Ted Turner and an outstanding manager, Bobby Cox, it won't be long before the whole world will be watching the Braves in a World Series. As for Dick Ruthven and the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves just gave Philadelphia a visit and left it a shambles, sweeping a three-game series.
THOMAS R. BUECHNER
PITTSBURGH'S NO-HIT PITCHERS
It would appear to me that John Montefusco's statement about the Giants being the only team in history to boast three no-hit pitchers (SCORECARD, July 31) was made before he met the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have three no-hit pitchers in Jim Bibby ('73, Texas), John Candelaria ('76, Pittsburgh), and Bert Blyleven ('77, Texas)
ON WITH THE GAME
Your series of articles on Money in Sports (July 17 et seq.) has been very enlightening and certainly timely. However, I was confused as to the point made by the poll on page 47 of the July 31 issue. It said that 56% of those fans polled had a favorable impression of sports owners; yet when asked specific questions about the owners' characteristics, they gave answers that seemed contradictory. Fifty-two percent thought owners were greedy; only 41% said the owners had fulfilled their civic responsibility; 61% answered that, no, the owners did not tell the truth when they said their teams were losing money; and 55% thought owners took unfair advantage of tax breaks.
If fans have favorable impressions of greedy, non-civic-minded liars who cheat on their taxes, then maybe the problem lies with the person sitting in the stands.
San Bruno, Calif.
What is all the hollering about? In a society that has worked ceaselessly to erase whatever distinction there once might have been between the words "ambition" and "greed," why should we vent our spleen on players and owners? They are simply a distillation of the rest of us.
We would be better off recalling the words of the late, lamented Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
WALTER B. DUNNING
Circle Pines, Minn.
The biggest mistake is made by those who call the business of professional athletics sports.
BENJAMIN W. JOHNSON
My hands are up to raise a cheer for the good bargain a ticket to a baseball game provides. It isn't the price of tickets that bothers me but the cost of traveling to see my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. A plane trip from Syracuse to Boston really jumps up the price.
I'm glad Warren N. Kellogg of Exeter, N.H., the disillusioned Boston fan you quoted in Part 3, has the good sense to say he will return to Fenway when Yaz goes for his 3,000th hit. I hope to be there, too.
THOMAS V. FANNING
I recently attended a baseball game between the Oakland A's and Cleveland Indians in which Bob Lacey threw me a baseball. I got Matt Keough's autograph, and the A's won 5-4 in the ninth. No magazine is going to tell me that players don't hustle and are not loyal to their fans.
As a longtime Boston Red Sox and Washington Redskins adherent, I follow professional sports with a passion. As Ray Kennedy and Nancy Williamson say, sport is a welcome diversion. I don't care what the athletes make.
Ray Kennedy and Nancy Williamson are to be commended for their superbly written, insightful analysis of money in sports. For those of us who have been somewhat baffled by the shenanigans that seem to plague the entire spectrum of professional sport (amateur athletics notwithstanding), it was a revealing piece of work. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Coles Phinizy's article Swinging in a Star (July 31) was a masterpiece of insight, thorough research and informative and interesting reading. He has captured what Star sailing, and sailing in general, is all about.
As for Dennis Conner, his success story is typical of those of the many great Star sailors since the class originated in 1911. Young sailors can learn a great lesson from him—that there is an optimal mixture of one-design and offshore racing to strive for. All too many young sailors go for the big boats where the money and glitter is, only to find out too late that their sailing skills are lacking because they never took one-design racing seriously.
International Star Class
Yacht Racing Association
WOMEN IN THE BOOTH
Please, may the departure of Phyllis George from CBS Sports somehow set in motion a change in the utilization of women sportscasters on television (TV/RADIO, July 31). With no offense intended to George, her smile-and-introduce-this-week's-feature-with-Tony-Bennett-in-the-background role had me gritting my teeth week after week. And I had to switch channels every time NBC's Regina Haskins came on to play straight lady to a robot. Thanks to Melissa Ludtke Lincoln for opening some windows on this issue.
•CBS replaced George with Jayne Kennedy, an actress and a former Miss Ohio.—ED.
The networks refuse to hire intelligent women commentators. More and more major league teams employ squads of half-clad girls afflicted with perma-smile to preen in front of the cameras. Advertising directed toward sports fans often includes grossly obvious sexual connotations. And SI continues its tradition of the annual cheesecake issue.
Part 3 of your series Money in Sports (July 31) indicates that an increasingly large percentage of all sports fans are female. So how much longer do we women fans have to tolerate the insults, the lechery and the degradation that are heaped on us by the sports world? The NFL (as packaged by television) is so blatantly contemptuous of women that I have quit watching altogether.
TRUDI L. BENEDICT
New York City
Hats off to you for your eye-opening item on the Senate amendment sponsored in the aftermath of the Tellico Dam controversy (SCORECARD, July 31). I am appalled at the pomposity and gall of Senators like Howard Baker and John Culver who would let federal officials play God and decide if a species may be exterminated.
Thanks to publicity like that provided by your column, sane Americans can hope this ludicrous measure will be flattened in the House.
MARY C. METZGER
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