Mike Piazza is a heck of a hitter and entitled to make a
business decision, but he should spare us the Joan of Arc
--MATT WEISS, Pittsburgh


After reading Michael Bamburger's heart-wrenching story (Playin'
the Dodger Blues, May 25) about poor Mike Piazza's having his
life turned upside down, I could barely eat for two days. It's
sad tales like this that remind me why I haven't watched a pro
baseball game since the strike.
GREG KEIF, Ocala, Fla.

Bamberger got it wrong: Piazza doesn't bleed Dodger blue, he
bleeds only Franklin green.
TONY BRIDGES, Havana, Fla.

Trade of the century? Maybe of the decade but not of the
century. Babe Ruth's trade to the Yankees from the Red Sox in
1920--that was the trade of the century.
NORMAN F. BABBITT, North Grosvenor Dale, Conn.

For most of this century big trades were fun for fans. Deals
today are driven by money and are usually depressing for the
faithful. The last old-fashioned trade of significant players
was probably the Blue Jays' 1990 acquisition of Joe Carter and
Roberto Alomar from the Padres in exchange for Fred McGriff and
Tony Fernandez.


Ifound Rick Reilly's advice to athletes who are about to turn
pro right on the mark (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 25). If someone
wants the respect and fame of being a star, he should show it in
the way that he conducts himself.

If a third of today's athletes would do any of the things on
Reilly's list, fans would be ecstatic and would show up in droves.

The simple, humanistic tips that Reilly listed are basic rules
by which all of us should live.
JOEL E. RUBIN, Edison, N.J.

Let's hope that most of the people to whom the advice was
directed can read.
GENE DRYDEN, Sarasota, Fla.


Good article on Bill Romanowski, the Broncos outside linebacker
(Taking His Medicine, May 25). Maybe he needs a checkup from the
neck up, I don't know, but he's a solid football player and
tougher than a $2 steak. I think it is time to give the spitting
incident a rest. Romo's motive seemed clear to me: He hawks a
loogie at J.J. Stokes, expecting Stokes to swing at him, be
spotted by the ref and get ejected. Mission accomplished, except
Stokes didn't bite. Sure, Romo's spitting was unsavory and maybe
unsportsmanlike, but we're talking football here, not figure
BUD GLISMANN, Basalt, Colo.


John Stockton of the Utah Jazz will go down as one of the best
point guards ever. Phil Taylor did a marvelous job of portraying
him as a player who has a job to do and does it, night after
night (Well Stocked, May 25). I have long admired Stockton's
flair and love for the game. And, no, I don't believe that he
has lost a step.
LORI HOWELL, Madison Heights, Va.

Stockton pushes, kicks, pulls, elbows, sets illegal screens and
flops on defense. Those aren't the actions of a crafty veteran;
they are the work of a dirty player. The way he plays is a
travesty of the game of basketball.
MARK BODENRADER, North Andover, Mass.

TWO B/W PHOTOS: HY PESKIN (2) [Harvey Kuenn; Rocky Colavito]


When Rocky Colavito (right), the home run champ, was traded in
1960 for Harvey Kuenn (left), the batting champ, it was
unexpected and cataclysmic. Back then it was axiomatic that if
you were a star, you spent your best years with the same team.
Now the main man in the trade of the century stayed barely a
week with his new team, the Marlins, before being dealt again,
to the Mets.