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THE MAIL

Aug. 05, 2013
Aug. 05, 2013

Table of Contents
Aug. 5, 2013

SI.com
LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
JOHNNY MANZIEL
THEMMQB.COM
THE GRAHAM BROTHERS
BRONSON ARROYO
  • HE WAS ONCE THE UNLIKELIEST OF IDIOTS IN A BAND OF HEROES THAT MADE HISTORY. NEARLY A DECADE LATER, BRONSON ARROYO IS STILL STANDING, STILL CHILLING TO HIS OWN BEAT, STILL ONE OF THE GAME'S MOST DEPENDABLE INNINGS-EATERS

LAST DAYS OF A-ROD
  • As Alex Rodriguez prepares for yet another humiliation, this one a possible career-ender, it's worth remembering him as you may have forgotten him: the greatest prospect any scout had ever seen who met the promise of his gifts, a tireless worker and learner with as sublime a baseball IQ as there was. So, how could he be so ... dumb?

THE MAIL

Chris Ballard's article on the work and legacy of Tom Gouttierre was terrific. I was moved to tears reading about how, through basketball, a foreigner like Gouttierre was able to tap into the beauty of a troubled country. The story reminded me that there are good people in Afghanistan and that even in the midst of bloodshed and chaos, there can be optimism.

This is an article from the Aug. 5, 2013 issue

George Bell, Tyrone, Pa.

Thank you for the remarkable story on Gouttierre (The Wizard of Kabul). As an English teacher in the Peace Corps in Turkey in the mid-1960s and, later, a graduate student at Indiana, I couldn't help but identify with him. The article illustrates how uplifting and inspiring a beautiful sport like basketball can be when it's taught by people like Gouttierre and played for the pure love of the game.

Richard R. Bier, Bloomington, Ind.

Petty Criticism

I can't believe Kyle Petty had the nerve to criticize Danica Patrick (SCORECARD). As the son of Richard Petty, the most successful NASCAR driver of all time, Kyle is stock car royalty. He drove the best cars, had access to the most powerful engines and worked with the finest crews and mechanics. Yet even with all that, his career was mediocre at best, as he won only eight races in 30 years.

John Franzone, Klondyke, Ariz.

The Greatest

It was a pleasure seeing all of the pictures in response to Richard Deitsch's tweet calling for images of one's greatest moment (LEADING OFF). My favorite was the young man who woke up from his liver transplant to watch the Giants win the Super Bowl. What an inspiration!

Linda Donovan, Quincy, Mass.

Minor Settlement

The average consumer rarely makes a profit in class-action lawsuits, so even if Ed O'Bannon's case against the NCAA (SCORECARD) is certified as such, guys like Lucas Vincent will be lucky to net more than a $10 gift certificate toward a sports video game. The bulk of any such settlement usually goes to the lawyers.

Steve Newman, Fulton, Md.

A Calming Effect

As a native San Franciscan who delights in the over-the-top antics of the players and fans in the Bay Area, I appreciate Buster Posey's calm demeanor (Country and Western). His authentic nature and stability provide a great balance for the Giants.

Vilma Kennedy Pallette Santa Clara, Calif.

You should have reviewed Yadier Molina's statistics before declaring Posey the most indispensable player in baseball. In addition to batting .334 (second in the National League through Sunday), the Cardinals' catcher has scored more runs than Posey. Molina has also thrown out 43.3% of would-be base stealers versus Posey's 23.4%. Yes, Posey is an outstanding person and player, but St. Louis has the best record in baseball because of the indispensable Molina.

Jeff Hohl, Toledo

The Posey brothers had a 50-foot mowing deck yet it still took them two hours to cut four acres?

J.R. Crompton Howell, N.J.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Can Team USA win Olympic gold in Rio without LeBron James?

Dan Kavanagh They can win gold as long as they have Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. A trio like that could make up for the loss of LeBron.

Ward Sullivan The U.S. won gold plenty of times before both LeBron and Kobe Bryant started playing for the team. Do people not remember the 1992 Dream Team or the team that won at Atlanta in '96?

Randy Lutz As long as he's not playing for one of the other teams, I don't see why not.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Hello Twitter. Expect no BS from me. Just straight fire!

Mike Tomlin (@coachtomlin)

PHOTOJOHN BURGESS FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)FOR JULY 22, 2013PHOTOCHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES (JAMES)PHOTOFOUR ILLUSTRATIONS