I hope the Andre Agassi example teaches fathers out there not to push children too hard. Your child might turn into a great athlete, but I would rather have a great relationship.

Ross Drishinski, Dupuyer, Mont.

Growing up across the street from where the U.S. Open is played, I have idolized Andre Agassi. The excerpt from his autobiography ("I Hate Tennis," Nov. 2) brought me to tears; I still cannot fathom that the man who first inspired me to play tennis hates the sport with such passion. That said, with his display of courage in admitting his crystal meth use and detailing his relationship with his father, Agassi is still a role model for players of all ages.

Evan Badler, Queens, N.Y.

Agassi was a fan favorite not because he was the tallest, strongest or most graceful but because every time he stepped on the court he did the best he could. And that is something noncelebrities like us can relate to. Many of us strive to do the best we can in jobs we do not particularly like. And until we are able to do something else that we enjoy, doing the best we can in whatever situation we find ourselves is what makes all the difference in a life well lived.

Mark Marmer

New York City

Swing Theory

The SI cover jinx did double duty this week. At the time I received my issue announcing Ryan Howard + A-Rod = World Series Home Run Derby, the two sluggers were a combined 2 for 17 with 12 strikeouts and no home runs.

Doug McKay

Traverse City, Mich.

Marking McGwire

Baseball managers are the ultimate enablers. How else to explain the horrendous decision by Tony La Russa to hire Mark McGwire (SCORECARD, Nov. 2) as the Cardinals' hitting coach? The commissioner's office must step in.

Bruce McPhee

West Yarmouth, Mass.

You raise questions about McGwire's qualifications as a hitting instructor by citing a .263 career batting average, including four seasons in which he hit .235 or worse. I refer you to Charley Lau, long considered one of the top hitting instructors. He had a career average of .255 and in six of his 11 major league seasons hit below .200.

Chris Greensfelder, Tryon, N.C.

A True Diehard

For 37 years I've considered myself one of the most die-hard, blue-bleeding Rangers fans. But after reading Chris Ballard's heart-wrenching story about Penguins fan Pat Celesnick and her hockey-aided recovery (POINT AFTER, Nov. 2), I realize that, by comparison, I have been nothing more than a casual observer.

Spencer Rosman

Chappaqua, N.Y.

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