GEORGE AND BILLY: ACT IV
Steve Wulf hinted only briefly at the lunacy of George Steinbrenner's decision to fire Yogi Berra after just 16 games of the '85 season (Oh No, Not Again, May 6). Once again George is playing publicity games, and once again someone else is paying the price. It sickens me to see great people like Bob Lemon and Yogi Berra treated like pawns; it takes the fun out of the game. If Steinbrenner had any class, or any concern for baseball, he would sell the team and go back to shipbuilding.
DONALD R. SPRATT
Why can't George Steinbrenner keep his nose out of the dugout and let the people with the real baseball minds make the decisions? It's obvious that he doesn't give his managers a chance. Yogi Berra has a good baseball mind, and he had his players' respect without being a strict disciplinarian. It's a shame.
So the Yankees need a manager to be their friend? So they like their backs patted after a loss? Money must breed loneliness in New York. It's strange that virtues like winning, playing up to one's abilities and dedication weren't mentioned by the players. It's funny no one said, "We'll get better; let's go from here."
I've been a Yankee fan for 30 years, and if I must suffer through another season of rooting for a bunch of overpaid underachieves, it's nice to know there's someone on my side who will shake them out of their complacency. Go, Billy!
May 19, 1985
Yogi is a legend, and everyone loves him, including me. However, George and the Yankee fans are still smarting from the '84 season—that's why Yogi was fired. And a month into this season we were cellar-bound. Thank goodness George made the change before it was too late to catch up. No Yankee fan will accept last place, and George won't, either. We have a multimillion-dollar, supremely talented team. We want to win!
Belle Harbor, N.Y.
Steve Wulf fails to realize that Billy Martin is good enough to be hired eight times.
For the fourth time, who cares?
George Steinbrenner and Bob Irsay should get together and compare notes on how not to run a professional sports franchise!
Glen Burnie, Md.
Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstated Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for the good of the game. Maybe he could ban George Steinbrenner for the same reason.
I was perturbed to see Billy Martin on the cover of your magazine. As long as George Steinbrenner gets the media attention he wants, he'll be encouraged to fire and rehire again. Please, let's end this nonsense.
That sure was cute of you to put a rear view of Billy Martin on your cover and bill it "Billy's Back!" You did the same thing last spring with "Yogi's Back!" (April 2, 1984). I'm starting to suspect, however, that most people, especially in New York, would rather see a cover photo of George Steinbrenner's back as he walks slowly off into the sunset.
MICHAEL P. FISHKIN
O.K. AS A LEFTY, TOO
Senator Bill Bradley, a recent inductee into the Lefthanders Hall of Fame even though he's righthanded (SCORECARD, April 29), did have some success as a lefthanded basketball player. As a fellow camper at Ed Macauley's Basketball Camp for Boys in 1958, I can vouch that Bradley, then a high school sophomore-to-be, played the entire week lefthanded because of an injury suffered before he arrived. He was still voted MVP.
Corte Madera, Calif.
Thank you for William Oscar Johnson's excellent story about his visit to Murmansk (Trip To The Edge Of The World, April 29) and also for Jerry Cooke's fine photographs. How many of us can journey to a Soviet port north of the Arctic Circle, via Moscow? Thanks for being my eyes in a remote part of the world.
BRONSON T. SWANSON
In the course of some 20 years, I have become well acquainted with many Soviet citizens and have found much to admire in these people. William Oscar Johnson has presented the most accurate description of the Russian personality I can recall.
Sam Moses's story (Up Where The Air Is Rare, May 6) on Robby Naish was a great description of a sport I hope SI will continue to cover. Sailboarding has reached epidemic proportions in Europe and has also caught on quite well in the U.S. Please give us more!
MAT MANIA (CONT.)
My thanks to Bruce Newman for his fine article on pro wrestling (Who's Kidding Whom? April 29). I was especially pleased by his mention of Wharton graduates as an example of successful people now attending wrestling matches. Just recently, some of my fellow Wharton students and I took in some championship wrestling at the Spectrum and enjoyed it immensely. We at Wharton applaud what Vince McMahon has done with the sport, just as we applaud all successful capitalistic ventures.
Yes, Hulkamania is running wild. I take offense, though, at being grouped with Wharton graduates. We at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management are quite happy and proud to be recognized as wrestling fans in our own right.
Anyone who complains about your annual swimsuit issue should be locked in an unpadded cell with your cover photo of Hulk Hogan.
Rasslin'? Aw, come on!
Bruce Newman's article gave me a fascinating look inside a sport that I have only recently come to know. However, although the story was informative, it was not what attracted me to that issue. It was your cover billing MAT MANIA! that caught my eye.
You never did tell us the outcome of this year's Indiana high school basketball tournament (Hoosier Hysteria, Feb. 18). Please allow me. The Marion Giants, with three seniors and two sophomores in the starting lineup, became the first team since the 1971 East Chicago Washington Senators to win the state championship undefeated. That East Chicago team featured Junior Bridgeman, Tim Stoddard, Pete Trgovich and Darnell Adell, now the East Chicago coach.
MICHAEL D. ROEGER
Fort Wayne, Ind.
I thoroughly enjoyed George Plimpton's creation The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch (April 1), and, yes, I too was fooled by this classic April Fools' joke. But that didn't bother me. However, I was bothered that a few readers canceled their subscriptions (19TH HOLE, April 15 and 22). How sad that some people apparently lack the ability to have a good laugh at themselves.
Gig Harbor, Wash.
Sidd Finch a hoax? Not as far as we're concerned! We at the Greensboro chapter of the Sidd Finch Fan Club believe that Sidd is to baseball what Santa Claus is to Christmas. Yes, George, there will be a Sidd Finch as long as the great game of baseball is played, and he will always live in the hearts of those of us who are devoted to the game.
HARRY H. CLENDENIN III
LOCKE T. CLIFFORD
CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING FOOT
Over the years, you have published some pictures that have raised questions. One example is the mystery of the bulge in Doug Flutie's sock (19TH HOLE, Dec. 17). SI revealed that it was Flutie's mouthpiece. Now I give you the Case of Dwight Evans's Disappearing Left Foot (Back On The Right Track, May 6).
East Patchogue, N.Y.
•Alas, seeing isn't always believing, after all. Part of Evans's foot seems to be missing because of photographer Chuck Solomon's low camera angle and distance from his subject. Solomon was using a 600-mm lens from a position just to the right of the first-base dugout. And the foot is partly obscured by turf.—ED
E.M. Swift's article on Dwight Evans and his family was heartwarming. What's more, it was refreshing to read about a sports figure who is not involved with drugs. Still, the story left me unsatisfied—I have this terrible craving for pesto sauce. Would Susan Evans be willing to share her recipe with SI readers?
VIRGINIA WOLFE MANUEL
•Yes, she would.—ED.
SUSAN EVANS'S PESTO SAUCE
2 cups basil leaves (packed into cup)
‚Öì cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
4 heaping tbsp. pine nuts (or walnuts)
5 cloves garlic (large), or 4 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup (or more, according to taste) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. whipped cream cheese
Dash of salt
Combine basil leaves,‚Öì cup olive oil, nuts, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste. If not serving immediately, the paste can be frozen and stored. When ready to serve, spoon the paste into a saucepan, add two tablespoons of olive oil (or white wine), a liberal amount of Parmesan cheese and the cream cheese. Heat and toss with linguini. Serve hot, with the remaining Parmesan cheese and, if you like, hot peppers. The sauce can also be used with lasagna or fish or vegetable dishes. Makes enough for two pounds of linguini.
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