I was pleased that Cincinnati manager Pete Rose was suspended for 30 days for bumping umpire Dave Pallone (30 Days, May 9). What I was not pleased about was that National League president Bart Giamatti seems to be overlooking the role Pallone's actions may have played in the incident, since it does take two to tangle.
Umpires, referees and other officials are paid to enforce rules fairly and to maintain control of the game. If they can't do that, they should be subject to the same discipline as managers and coaches. At the very least, officials who are involved in too many controversial calls and incidents should be put on probation and their actions carefully reviewed at the end of the season. If they improve and show they can maintain control of the game, keep them around; if not, dismiss them.
JUNE E. COOLEY
Steve Wulf suggests that Rose's 30-day suspension should be commuted, citing Rose's past contributions to the game and Pallone's contribution to the Saturday night fiasco.
I submit that Wulf—and Rose—missed the point. The Charlie Hustle of old never would have waited for an umpire's call before making the insurance throw to the plate; would not have let the presence of a coach on the field stop him from throwing the ball; and would have nailed Nick Esasky's hide to the dugout for that kind of sloppy play.
May 29, 1988
Rose's bad attitude and unsportsmanlike conduct are most certainly grounds for suspension. I wonder whether he shouldn't have gotten 90 days—for his lack of respect for the officials and for encouraging every Little Leaguer in the country to harass the umpire.
How can Bart Giamatti say he is satisfied that Pallone is an "objective and professional person," when Pallone has said that if players had not held him back, he probably would have hit Dave Concepcion in a dispute several years ago? Beyond that, he admits to having played mind games with Concepcion since then. If that is what Giamatti believes to be objective and professional behavior on the part of an umpire, I worry about Giamatti's objectivity.
Giamatti should establish the Giamatti Rule: A manager may not enter the field of play to argue a call by the umpire.
MARK J. WOODBURY
Valley City, N.Dak.
Officials in football grandstand less, do a much better job of avoiding confrontation and are more content to let the players and coaches be the show. Baseball umpires try to become part of the act themselves.
Stewart Manor, N.Y.
Rose's 30-day suspension is a travesty. In the same game, Darryl Strawberry charged the mound from the dugout and was fined $300, roughly one week's meal money. Pallone, who should have been fired earlier after his public admission of a vendetta against Dave Concepcion, is still umpiring.
Giamatti blew the call.
JOHN H. REDDINGTON
How is it that your article (Best of the Bosses, May 2) did not include the skipper of the world champion Minnesota Twins? Tom Kelly took an average team that finished sixth in 1986, the year he took over, and led it to a world championship. He did it with excellent handling of pitchers and of the press during the playoffs and World Series. Kelly has proved that he is one of the most up-and-coming managers. Even with their poor start in 1988, a close watch should be kept on the Twins; with Kelly at the helm, it would be no surprise to find them near the top of the standings at the end of the season.
MITCHELL E. CUTLER
Davey Johnson has proved to be the best of all managers over the past half decade—and in the same demanding city that has waved goodbye to Billy Martin four times.
No one can deny the considerable intuition and storehouse of experience required to become a topflight major league manager. But Peter Gammons's assertion that "managing a baseball team is probably the most difficult field command in all of sport" is ludicrous. Perhaps the most consistent challenge faced by a manager is trying to keep the barbecue sauce from running off his paper plate onto the clubhouse carpet. To imply that Tom Lasorda's job is anywhere near as challenging as that of the Los Angeles Lakers' Pat Riley or the Washington Redskins' Joe Gibbs is laughable.
Although I agree with much of Rick Telander's criticism of Bobby Knight's recent remarks on NBC-TV (POINT AFTER, May 9), I feel I must take issue with his questioning Knight's fitness as a teacher. Knight is one of a handful of coaches in college basketball who have high standards for their students both on and off the court. The players who have gone through Knight's program seem to avoid the troubles that plague so many former student-athletes. Although Knight may not set a good example at all times, he must be doing something right, as a teacher and as a human being.
DAVID B. MOSS
Telander seems to be hinting that college basketball would be better off without Bobby Knight. I can't agree. College basketball has benefited from Knight's involvement despite all his faults. He has won three national championships with honesty and hard work. In this win-at-all-costs era, let's give credit to a man who triumphs the old-fashioned way, by earning his victories.
For some time now I've been searching for a recreational activity that would combine a mental and physical challenge with the sweet danger of bodily harm. I thought I had found such a sport in your article about caving (Black Walls, Cold Fear, May 2). The anticipation of confronting the unknown, the thrill of pushing oneself beyond previously set boundaries and the obvious risks involved in caving would lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride.
However, upon further reflection, I concluded that perhaps there is an activity that I could do closer to home that would offer the same satisfactions as caving: I could spend time with a pair of pliers slowly pulling out my toenails.
MARSHALL W. WEISS
Once again we SI readers are treated to a lesson in nature. We've been taught about the condor, our forests and the ozone layer. This time it's a "journey into the bizarre underworld of caving." I read this story with great interest and thank the author (and photographer) for bringing us along on their great adventure. Hey, I think I'll cancel my subscription to National Geographic.
DANIEL C. LAI
Huntington Beach, Calif.
We're afraid you goofed in your story on my brother, Jon Peters (Boy Wonder-May 9). You meant to run a picture of our dad, Valgene Peters, but instead you ran one of Ervin Schulz, a family friend. Mr. Schulz is a handsome guy, but I think your readers should get a look at Dad.
•Sorry about the mix-up. Here's a look at Valgene and the rest of the Peter clan.—ED.
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