Josh Hamilton may be the best all-around player since Willie Mays, but to me his greatest legacy will be his comeback from addiction. What could have been just another example of a player wasting his talent by using drugs has turned into an inspirational story about how it's never too late to turn your life around.
Peter Bowling Anderson, Memphis
Road to Recovery
It's rare that a sports star like Hamilton is so candid and unpretentious about both his tribulations and his triumphs (The Curse of Bigness). While he hasn't always been the best role model, I still hope my sons can emulate Hamilton's humble approach to success and to life's problems.
July 2, 2012
Mark Wright, Springfield, Mo.
Hamilton's wife, Katie, claims that the devil was responsible for her husband's relapse. I beg to differ. It was Hamilton's own poor choices that caused him to fall short. People need to stop making excuses for their loved ones and allow them to take responsibility for their actions, instead of passing the blame.
Seth J. Schwartz, Miami
The MLB players you polled were way off in naming the Angels' C.J. Wilson as the most overrated pitcher in baseball (SCORECARD). I think his 8--4 record and 2.44 ERA through Sunday prove that he is probably the most underrated pitcher.
Barry Levine, Philadelphia
No Crying in Soccer
I can't believe the players who question why J√ºrgen Klinsmann has them make scouting videos or requires them to take fitness and blood tests (Now Is the Time in Soccer ...). If they have no desire to do whatever it takes to become a better team, then they should make way for those players who do.
Eric Schmitt, New Carlisle, Ohio
Chance of a Lifetime
The positive attitude of Brian Banks, who was falsely accused of rape and served five years in prison, is to be admired (SCORECARD). Seahawks coach Pete Carroll should also be commended for being the first to offer Banks a tryout in the NFL. Even if Banks ends up making only a scout team, I'm sure he will be grateful for the opportunity to prove his worth.
Kay Vierra, Chino Hills, Calif.
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Stories that generated the most mail last week
Do you think MMA fighters like UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos(below, right) will help make the sport more popular than boxing?
Dilemma Espinal: After the Pacquiao-Bradley debacle I think so. Boxing has lost all its credibility.
Stan McLoven: It's already happened. MMA has taken over, and boxing is now an afterthought. You don't hear people referring to MMA as a dying sport the way they do boxing.
Mind Militia: In MMA the possible big-name match-ups are endless. Not so for boxing. After Floyd Mayweather gets out of prison in August, he'll probably fight Tim Bradley, who just defeated Manny Pacquiao. Once Mayweather beats Bradley, there's no one else for him to take on but Pacman. After that, there aren't too many fights to get excited about.
bubba gage (@BigBubba74): How is boxing dead when Mayweather and Pacquiao are the two highest-paid athletes in the world? No MMA fighters are in the top 100.
Eric Fennelly: MMA is already more entertaining than boxing. How many boxing matches end in a quick, dramatic fashion? Hardly any. In MMA you get that with every match.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"After those penalty misses against Italy, I guess there won't be too many baby boys named Ashley in England this year."
JAMIE DORNAN (@JAMIEDORNAN1)