Letters

July 16, 2006

Papi Power
It is refreshing that David Ortiz (June 19), one of the best clutch hitters inhistory, has the humility of a rookie who is just happy to be in the majors.Big Papi chats with common folks because that is exactly what he considershimself: just one of the guys. But I'm sorry, David, you will never be that.You are the guy that others aspire to be. Thanks for the thrills.
John Mortimer Jr., South Boston, Mass.

I was wowed by TomVerducci's Who's Your Papi? As a Red Sox fan I've learned that Big Papi is anamazing hitter, but I never knew how much he had to overcome to get where heis.
Thatcher Hoyt, Chatham, Mass.

You can compareOrtiz to Ken Griffey Jr. and Babe Ruth all you like. Griffey and Ruth, however,each did something on a baseball diamond that Ortiz only has to do once in awhile: They wore a fielder's mitt.
Frank Murtaugh, Memphis

The SI Cover Jinx?Believers ought to check with David Ortiz. After appearing on the cover, all hedid was have three game-winning hits in eight games. I guess Big Papi isimmune.
Brett Sanborn, Rochester Hills, Mich.

There's no doubtthat Ortiz is a great ballplayer and Minnesota should never have released him,but for him to bash the Twins for playing small ball is ridiculous. The realityof modern baseball is that small-market teams can't afford to buy a lineup ofsluggers, so they must do their best to win with fundamentals and enthusiasm.Twins' G.M. Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire have brilliantly used whatthey've been given, and it's hard to argue with the results: three straightpostseason appearances from 2002 to '04.
Dan Rutman, Edina, Minn.

Meltdown
I'm sick of reading about hockey's bad TV ratings (The Invisible Finals, June19). When my team is in the Stanley Cup finals, I'd much rather read about themthan about how nobody is watching them. Hockey fans have gotten used to thefact that in the U.S. it's a niche sport.
Lani Seelinger, Durham, N.C.

Michael Farberfailed to mention that in Canada the Stanley Cup Finals averaged more thanthree million viewers a game, the second-highest-rated finals in history.
David Keelan, Winnipeg

AbandonmentIssues
I was surprised that in his column on hockey teams that left their originalhometowns, Steve Rushin, a Minnesota native, failed to mention that the NorthStars bolted his hockey-mad state in 1993 for a better financial package (Airand Space, June 19). Even though the NHL has since returned to Minnesota withthe Wild, for many of us fans of the ol' North Stars it will never be thesame.
Dave Cotton, Spokane

I'm a ninth-gradeEnglish teacher whose students often pose the whiny question "When am Igoing to use this stuff in real life?" Now when I teach Great Expectations,I will simply show my students a copy of Rushin's Hockey's MissHavishams.
Jay Andrusisin, Millersville, Pa.

PollPositions
In the June 19 SI PLAYERS MLB Poll on which major league record will never bebroken, why does no one recognize Rickey Henderson's stolen-base records:single season since 1900 (130) and career (1,406)? In almost 20 years no one,other than Rickey himself, has come within 50 of his single-season mark, andKenny Lofton, the active career leader, is more than 800 steals behind. I thinkthose are two records that will never be swiped.
Chuck Basso Malvern, Pa.

One record thatwon't ever be broken wasn't even mentioned. No, it's not Cy Young's 511wins--it's his 749 complete games.
Bill Seager, Coronado, Calif.

I am surprisedthat neither Hack Wilson's 191 RBIs in 1930 nor Orel Hershiser's 59 consecutivescoreless innings in 1988 received higher vote totals.
Dean Barnes, Seattle

Today's playersoverlooked a feat that is the most likely of all to never be topped: In 1938Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer threw two no-hitters in consecutive startsagainst Boston and Brooklyn. To break this record, a pitcher would have tothrow three no-hitters in a row. It'll never happen.
Steve Zawrotny Yukon, Okla.

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PHOTOCLAY PATRICK MCBRIDE PHOTOANDY HAYT/GETTY IMAGES  UNTOUCHABLE
Readers backed Young (left), Henderson (top) and Vander Meer.
PHOTOAP [SeeCaption Above] PHOTONATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES  [SeeCaption Above] 

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)