The Boss Is Back
George Steinbrenner as Napoleon on your March 1 cover? A better casting would have been General Douglas MacArthur. Now, that was a comeback.
DANIEL S. MAXIME
Amazing. Your cover went from Beauty to the Beast in one short week!
There are so many classy owners, executives and players who could have kicked off the 1993 baseball season by appearing on your cover. If baseball is our national sport and represents a lot of what is good in America—reaching the top of one's profession through hard work, regardless of race, education or family background—then Steinbrenner represents the opposite.
Please do not kill into the trap, as so many in the media have, of publicizing the few who gain notoriety through phony bluster. There are so many decent people in baseball to honor with your cover.
JIM KAAT, Former player and current broadcaster
March 29, 1993
Give me a break. Steinbrenner ruined the Yankees and tried to do the same for the rest of baseball. His paying outrageous salaries for, at best, mediocre players has led to fan disgust.
Steinbrenner was kicked out of the game "for life." Pete Rose fans, take heart. Rose is a jerk, but he gave more to the game than Steinbrenner did.
Steinbrenner's celebrated return to baseball proves my premise that he is no wimp and has the courage to speak his mind. Now we can look forward to more excitement and pizzazz. It was dull without George.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
The emotional struggles of Arizona State basketball star Ryneldi Becenti (A Woman of the People, March 1) puts into perspective the painful clash of values (independence versus assimilation) that the Navajo people and other Native Americans have faced for many decades. When you go to the Four Corners region of the Southwest you realize how truly amazing it is that Becenti got to college and is only a few months away from getting her degree. Thanks for reminding us that college sports can be fundamental to the success of many people.
Oak Park. Ill.
As a Navajo and former student-athlete at Window Rock High, I read Gary Smith's article with interest. Becenti is to be commended for her on-court success as well as for capitalizing on her basketball skills to further her education.
What's disturbing, though, is the tunnel vision that apparently still exists among the Navajo community leaders. While they are certainly correct in praising Becenti's athletic achievements and her positive representation of Navajos, they evidently still fail to understand that higher education, not athletics, is the Navajos' best avenue to a better life.
Sport and Taxes
While reading Jerry Kirshenbaum's article about the impact of President Clinton's economic proposals on sports figures (Running Up the Tab, March 1), I found it difficult to feel sorry for well-paid athletes or club owners. With salaries for NHL and NBA players averaging $400,000 and $1.2 million a year, respectively, pro athletes should not find it difficult to carry the additional tax burden. Bravo to Terry Porter of the Trail Blazers, who stated that most players would be willing to pay extra taxes if it helps the country. Players and profitable clubs can both well afford to pay their fair share; those clubs that lose money don't have to worry about increased taxes.
RICHARD D. WOODS
In a time when high school sports programs face cutbacks due to budget woes. I am sick of hearing the spoiled princelings of professional sports snivel about money. How many of these guys received subsidized college educations that led to their big-money contracts? I have little sympathy for them or for agents such as Leigh Steinberg, whose primary concerns are their own pocketbooks. Wake up, guys: If you benefit from society, is it too much to ask that you put something back?
To the list of 28 questions to be answered in spring training (Can Bo Go? March 1) I would like to add number 29: What is Bo Jackson doing with an aluminum bat? In the photo on pages 12-13, it looks as though he is using a Louisville Slugger TPS Rick Wheeler softball bat. Is major league baseball making the transition from wood to aluminum, or is this a spring training thing?
•Bo is using a Louisville Slugger aluminum fungo bat, model TPXF. The photo was taken during drills early in spring training, before games were scheduled.—ED.
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