Even though I'm a Cardinals fan, I admire Joey Votto's approach to the game (All the Right Moves, Aug. 30). I also applaud the rise of the Reds this year. The NL Central has been a poor sister to most of the other divisions for some time. I enjoy the developing rivalry between the Cardinals and the Reds and would love for two playoff teams to come out of the division.
This is an article from the Sept. 20, 2010 issue
Eric Young, Pocahontas, Ark.
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Thanks for Lars Anderson's three good suggestions to help NASCAR rebuild its shrinking audiences (INSIDE NASCAR, Aug. 30). I have a fourth: The races should be on broadcast TV the entire season. At just about the time I become an actively interested fan, the races move to a channel I won't pay to watch. So I give up on NASCAR for another season. Other leagues grow their ticket sales and fan bases by regularly appearing on broadcast TV. NASCAR ticket sales have shrunk as the number of races on broadcast TV has declined. But the sport has a reputation for going its own way, so it will be interesting to see what steps (if any) NASCAR will take to improve its performance for audiences and for sponsors.
Robert Travis, San Antonio
I could not agree more that the Chase needs fixing. Name another sport in which 31 teams are eliminated from the playoffs but keep on playing. As Anderson stated, there should be more of a reward for winning a race during the season. Also, how about instituting a rule that a driver cannot win the championship without having won at least one race during the season?
Dennis DiSalle, Maumee, Ohio
Thomas Lake's piece on baseball phenom Ariel Antigua should be an inspiration to all parents with big league dreams for their children (Five-Year-Old Slugger, Aug. 30). Lake did a tremendous job in focusing on Ariel's life as a child rather than speculating on whether he will be the next Bryce Harper. Whether he makes it to the big leagues or not, Ariel has a powerful support group in his parents and brothers, and that is worth more than any major league contract.
Scott Daniels, Philadelphia
There will always be natural talents like Tiger, Serena and LeBron, but they are the exception rather than the rule. For SI to devote a nine-page feature to a five-year-old is irresponsible, as it will only serve to motivate some parents to push their kids beyond their capabilities.
Steven Morrison, Renfrew, Ont.
It seems as if Antigua has been knighted the next Chosen One. Will he announce his Decision on which kindergarten he will attend on ESPN for Tots?
Jim Johnston, Avon Lake, Ohio
Is Ariel Antigua Spanish for Sidd Finch?
Bobby Bowman, Lubbock
The Replay Debate
Phil Taylor put into words something I've thought for years: A mistake made by an umpire or a referee is not equivalent to an error made by a player (POINT AFTER, Aug. 30). Only players' mistakes should affect the outcomes of games.
Rob Lewis, Auburn, Wash.
In other sports that use instant replay, such as football, the action on the field stops immediately. Taylor mentioned the double (that was incorrectly ruled foul) by the Twins' Joe Mauer in the 2009 Division Series against the Yankees. If that call had been overturned, what would have happened if there had been a runner on first who went back after the foul call? Do we assume that runner would have made it to third? Maybe MLB commissioner Bud Selig is smart after all.
Tom Toups, New Orleans
Instant replay worked just fine at the Little League World Series. These were volunteer umpires, and this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids. They deserved to get the right calls in that type of high-pressure atmosphere.
Bob Frisk Arlington Heights, Ill.
It is surprising to hear about an athlete such as Ryan Lochte, who won six gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships, making changes to improve his diet after he is already competing at the highest level (Move Over, Michael, Aug. 30). Because proper nutrition can make a big difference in performance, you would think athletes might use that advantage much earlier in their careers.
Steve Horwood, Tempe, Ariz.
I think this story is a bit premature. Let's wait until Lochte wins on a bigger stage, such as the world championships next year or the Olympics in 2012, especially since everyone knows that Michael Phelps is not in peak condition.
Christopher Rauber, San Jose
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