I was disappointed not to see Mark O'Meara on your cover
following his brilliant win at the Masters (Out of the Woods,
April 20). O'Meara is a great golfer and earned his win, but at
41 he will not have many more chances at this title. He deserved
to be front and center this year.
PETE TATHAM, London, Ont.
You barely mentioned how brilliantly Fred Couples played for
four days, except for those few bad moments on Sunday, and how
graciously he accepted what must have been a heartbreaking loss.
What a perfect example of how an athlete should conduct himself.
LILLIAN GOULETTE, Garden Grove, Calif.
I loved Rick Reilly's touching commentary on the memories evoked
by Jack Nicklaus at this year's Masters (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
April 20). Nicklaus's humility, a trait often missing in today's
young athletes, impressed me. His run at the title at age 58
reminded me of his immense talent during his prime.
JOHN PAPANIKOLAS, Salt Lake City
REFS AND THE IRS
NBA referee George Toliver's frustration at facing criminal
charges rather than just being allowed to make good on the taxes
for his unreported income is bewildering (Called for Traveling,
April 20). It's akin to a shoplifter getting caught and
expecting to face nothing more than having to pay for the item.
It doesn't work that way, whether you try to steal from a
retailer or from the government.
Toliver speaks of a "mistake" that "slipped through the cracks."
I might have some respect for him had he come out and admitted
that he did something very wrong.
STEW THORNLEY, Roseville, Minn.
It's easy to be sympathetic about the plight of the four NBA
referees and their underreporting of airline-ticket income, and
it's apparent that George Toliver is a good man. Please spare
us, however, the insult of implying that these refs were
ignorant of what they did. No jury would believe that this was
anything but a concerted attempt to hide income.
STEVE SORG, Covington, Ky.
Latrell Sprewell's contract cannot be terminated for attacking
his coach, but George Toliver's can be ended for tax evasion?
KEN CORWEN, New York City
Why not allow these officials a second chance, similar to the
NBA's drug rehabilitation program?
ZACHARY FREEMAN, Ann Arbor, Mich.
A year ago you ran a story about Orioles centerfielder Brady
Anderson's leaping from 16 to 50 home runs in one season at age
32 (Brady Hits 'Em in Bunches, April 14, 1997). This was
credited to his hard work and mental game. No suggestion was
made that he may have used performance-enhancing substances. In
your story on the muscle-building supplement creatine (The Magic
Potion, April 20), Anderson "enthusiastically credits creatine"
for improving his performance. It turns out he has been taking
creatine supplements since 1991. When asked if he would
recommend it to kids who want to use it, he thought for a while
and then responded, "I don't know." I find this very disturbing.
ERIC CARLSON, Fairbanks, Alaska
I think it's stupid to use something about which so little is
known. A 5% increase in strength is not enough to risk your life
for. I'm a teenager, and I wouldn't use creatine no matter what
it did for me. Besides, wouldn't you rather win knowing that you
did it yourself?
MATT STICE, Marysville, Ohio
How refreshing for Boston fans to get Pedro Martinez (Rocket
Redux, April 20). The man throws hard, works hard in the
community and may be the best pitcher in baseball. He is making
us forget that traitor Roger Clemens, who walked out for the
PAUL F. HEALY III, Sudbury, Mass.
Clearly your All-NBA selections were made before the season
(INSIDE THE NBA, April 20). How else can one explain why no
member of the Hawks, Hornets, Nets or Pacers--all playoff teams,
all with participants in the All-Star Game--made your top 15?
How else to explain why Scottie Pippen made your first team
after being injured much of the year? Worse yet, how else can
one explain why Dikembe Mutombo (left), your defensive player of
the year, could not break into the top three centers while
Hakeem Olajuwon, according to your story, "makes the third team
almost by default"? Don't they play the same position?
MICHAEL G. HERMAN, Beverly Hills, Calif.
else--IRS agents and prosecutors--for his troubles.
--RICHARD F. TEETSEL