On the Money
I loved yourarticle on Tiger Woods (Tiger 2.0, April 2) and the many ventures he issucceeding in. But when asked about his business goals, Woods stated he wantsto get to "a place where my family can be financially secure." Really?Tiger, you had your family financially secure the second you turnedprofessional!
Matt Ammerman, State College, Pa.
As a fast-pitch softball umpire who has worked Canadian national championships,I read Tom Verducci's story in which he umpires a spring training game (My Tripto the Show [Part II], April 2) with great interest. Thank you for taking afresh look through our eyes and informing the sports community about our loveof the game. Now if only we could convince the athletes and managers that mostof us love the game as much as they do.
R. Murray Patzwald
I give Verduccicredit for going out there and working the bases during a spring training game.However, I would like to see him call balls and strikes at any level, thenwrite an article about how hard being an umpire can be.
Mike Johnson, Troy, Mich.
April 22, 2007
As an amateurumpire, I know that if you call close to 200 pitches and make a handful ofsafe-out calls correctly, one kicked balk call is all anyone will remember.That is how it is for a writer, too. Verducci notes that umpire FieldinCulbreth signaled and shouted, "Fair ball!" during the game he worked.But it is doubtful Culbreth vocalized that call, since umpires are taught toyell "Foul ball" and to only signal on a fair ball to avoidconfusion.
Peter Corbett, Scottsdale, Ariz.
TOM VERDUCCIREPLIES: Upon further review, Culbreth properly signaled fair without a vocalcall. The audible "Fair ball" may well have come from the Baltimorebench or coaching box in the grand tradition of attempting to influence acall—especially with a rookie umpire on the field.
I'm going to save the April 2 LETTERS page for my grandchildren to look at 20years from now. Three letters variously reference global warming as 1) anexcuse for expanding government; 2) an Al Gore joke; or 3) an alarmist cult. Iwant my grandchildren to see what kind of simplistic, backward thinking had tobe overcome for the benefit of our nation and world—or, in the pessimisticscenario, led to their having to live in a much altered, degradedenvironment.
Bill Minning, Bethesda, Md.
After reading Michael Silver's story about goalie Roberto Luongo being tradedfrom Florida to Vancouver (Mr. X Factor, April 2), my husband and I werelaughing. We too are Luongos (no relation), but we are from Vancouver and nowlive in Miami. Like Roberto and his wife, we moved nine months ago. And whilethey battle the weather, we have not gotten used to all the sunshine—can't itjust rain one day, or feel gloomy?
Jennifer Luongo, Miami
I understand the arguments for a player like Greg Oden to stay in school for atleast another year (LIFE OF REILLY, April 2). But would any of us who had 'thecollege experience' not trade it in a heartbeat for the kind of immediatepayday he will see? Mr. Oden, however much we would love to watch you play atOhio State for another year or so, do not deny yourself a payday that none ofus would blame you for taking.
Daniel Mallipudi, Cottage Grove, Ore.
I found your listof reasons why Greg Oden should stay in college or go to the NBA entertaining,but I was saddened to see in the "Go" column, "If you get draftedby Portland, you'll see your teammates in orange jumpsuits." Granted, nottoo long ago this joke would have been fair. But now the Trail Blazers arefinally on the rise again with a nucleus of young talent that the community isproud of.
Timothy Stout, Portland
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Tom Verducci did a fine umpiring job, but my bookingagent would have fined him for the unhemmed pants, which obviously were freshout of the package.Richard Sarmiento, rookie umpire
Rocky Mount, N.C.
Can't SI afford a $15 tailoring bill to get Verducci'spants hemmed?
Keith Muraoka, Gilroy, Calif.