Letters

December 13, 1999

What's so funny about Rick Reilly's article on the 4,008 reasons
why he hates the Yankees is that those are the same reasons that
I love them.
--JOHN F. PORTELLE, Staten Island, N.Y.

ENCOMIUMS FOR PAYNE

Thank you for your moving piece about Payne Stewart (The Final
Journey, Nov. 1). It was a pleasure to see Stewart stand out not
only as a result of his play but also because of his wit. The
sporting world will be less fun without him.
JOEY BUTLER, Nashville

If ever a photo depicted the soul, the intensity and the
competitive spirit of an individual, Simon Bruty's shot of Payne
Stewart at the Country Club during the Ryder Cup certainly did.
DOC WHITE, Eatonville, Fla.

MULTIFACETED PHIL

Frank Deford's splendid and cerebral profile of Phil Jackson
notes that a decade ago Jackson underwent personality testing to
determine his ideal vocation, only to find that he was best
suited for housekeeper and trail guide (Father Phil, Nov. 1).
Now Jackson is likely to learn how good he might be at those
jobs. The Lakers' house needs tidying, and the trail to a title
is overgrown. L.A. fans can only hope that Jackson's decade-old
test result still applies.
PHIL DE HAAN, Grand Rapids

I found it surprising that there wasn't more mention of longtime
Jackson assistant Tex Winter. Without Tex, Jackson's Bulls might
never have won six championships. He is the master of the
Triangle offense, and he sat players down and taught them where
to go on the court. While Jackson was the team molder, Winter
was the team driver.
STEPHEN BORG, Evanston, Ill.

I am so tired of sportswriters fawning over Phil Jackson's Zen
Master snow job. By making up his moral rules as he goes, it
appears he has achieved his goal of eliminating all feelings of
guilt.
MARWOOD STOUT, Camarillo, Calif.

Payne Stewart, one of the classiest golfers in PGA history, dies
in a tragic plane crash, and we get Jackson on the cover holding
a crystal ball with Shaq and Kobe in it? What's more important:
the death of Stewart or another Lakers team that will choke at
the finish line?
PATRICK ALESHIRE, Hartland, Wis.

THE BUCKS STOP HERE

How could you omit Milwaukee's Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen from
your list of dazzling duos (The Power of Two, Nov. 1)? You
ranked both ahead of the New York Knicks' Allan Houston and
Latrell Sprewell in your player value rankings but decided to go
with the lesser, according to you, tandem in the piece on pairs.
Robinson and Allen deserved to be there.
DENNIS SCHULTEIS, Hartford, Wis.

LOVABLE OR LOATHSOME

Thanks to Rick Reilly for explicitly putting into words the true
feelings so many fans have for the Yankees (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
Nov. 1). His three-volume set sounds like the perfect holiday
gift. Put me down for seven sets.
JANN GARRETT, Everett, Wash.

As a Brooklyn-born, lifelong Yankees fan, I immensely enjoyed
Reilly's jealousy-induced column. One bit of advice, however:
Next time save the poetic line, "overdog-loving,
Eveready-chucking, bandwagon-hopping, fair-weather, brownnose,
pucker-lipped human goiters" for a story on Cowboys fans.
BRIAN LIEBMAN, Jupiter, Fla.

Three volumes? Please. You could fill the Library of Congress
with reasons to hate the Yankees.
DAVID BENSON, Lenox, Mass.

Reilly forgot the biggest reason of all: 25 World Championships.
Everyone hates a winner.
JAY C. WHIPPLE, Baltimore

Leave it to Reilly to bad-mouth Yankees P.A. announcer Bob
Sheppard. He is a part of Yankees tradition, and his voice gives
me chills every time I set foot in Yankee Stadium.
PHIL CARLUCCI, Syracuse, N.Y.

Here are some of the best reasons to love the Yankees. Marilyn
Monroe married one. Paul O'Neill roams the same spot that Babe
Ruth did. They play at Yankee Stadium, not
BellAtlanticMobile3ComQualcommOmnipoint Park. Fans get a
tantalizing glimpse of the field as the No. 4 train approaches
the 161st Street elevated station. Don Larsen threw out the
ceremonial first pitch on the day that David Cone tossed a
perfect game. When a Yankees fan is asked, "When was the last
time your team won the World Series?" he doesn't have to consult
a copy of The Baseball Encyclopedia. Yogi.
STEVE MIRSKY, Bronx, N.Y.

A MATTER OF MERIT

I agree with Ron Fimrite with respect to All-Century team
errors. I had Josh Gibson, Roberto Clemente and Satchel Paige on
my team because they were the best at playing the game.
BILL LYONS, Hood River, Ore.

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR.

POLITICAL CASE

The Scorecard column by Ron Fimrite on players who should have
made major league baseball's All-Century team (Nov. 1) was a
horrible example of political correctness. While Josh Gibson and
Roberto Clemente (above) may deserve inclusion, Fimrite's
reasons for including them--to correct the omission of a Negro
leaguer and a Latin American--are the worst possible. If you
want a color-blind society, stop looking at skin color.
DAVID LONG, Houston

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)