THE MAIL

October 21, 2013

I can't believe Joe Sheehan made the argument that Angels outfielder Mike Trout should be the American League MVP. Most valuable for what? Leading his team to mediocrity? The goal of every team is to win the World Series. Players are only valuable if they can help give their team a chance to contend toward that goal.

Jimmie Jones, New Braunfels, Texas

A Question of Values

In reading Joe Sheehan's Case for Mike Trout (SCORECARD), I couldn't help but think of former Pirates general manager Branch Rickey when he told Pittsburgh's Ralph Kiner, who had tied for the majors in home runs in 1952 but was still traded, "We finished last with you. We can finish last without you."

Gerard F. Keogh Jr., Fayetteville, N.C.

Adults Only

While it was heartbreaking to see your photo of Mariano Rivera walking off the field at Yankee Stadium for the last time (LEADING OFF), I was equally saddened to see the face of only one child in the crowd behind the dugout.

Paul Kronenberg, Elk Grove, Calif.

Head Games

I read your feature on the 49ers' Vernon Davis (A Portrait of the Artist as a Tight End), and then I read the Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru book excerpt from League of Denial. After finishing both, I started to wonder how much of Davis's charisma, creativity and curiosity will be left after a few more seasons of sustaining hits to the head in the NFL.

Bryan Fichter, Ellicott City, Md.

It's not just the NFL that is in denial about head trauma. How many parents will still sign up their kids for football, despite the potential for concussions and other head injuries?

David E. Cooper, Chevy Chase, Md.

Dubious Connections

I was shocked and disappointed to see B.J., Justin and Kate Upton on your cover considering that Kate has nothing to do with baseball and the Upton brothers have been a huge disappointment for the Braves this season. B.J. hit .184 with nine homers and 26 RBIs, and Justin was inconsistent throughout the season. While I get the joke, their stats are by no means cover-worthy.

Katharine Clark, Ridgewood, N.J.

After seeing your coverage of the Uptons, I was prompted to think of other unlikely sports families: Halle and Raymond Berry, Jimmy and Hurricane Carter, Richard and Otis Nixon, Grant and Faith Hill, Dwight and Ron Howard, and Bruce and Cliff Lee.

Noel Johnston, Greeley, Colo.

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I'll cancel my subscription if the SI cover jinx causes Kate Upton to be harmed.

Matthew Rose, Fairfax, Va.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Midway through the season, who's leading the Heisman Trophy race?

Derrick Rausch Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. What he did to Washington on the road last week was just nasty. The guy has 17 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season.

Willy Annan Johnny Football. He could very well be the first two-time winner since Archie Griffin.

Anthony Barr UCLA's Anthony Barr and Jake Matthews from Texas A&M should get consideration, but most of the voters will never vote for anyone who doesn't play QB or RB.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

If the #Redskins would just change their logo from a Native American profile to a potato, they wouldn't have to change their name

James Davis (@JDouglasDavis)

PHOTOJOSH THOMPSON/CAL SPORTS MEDIA (TROUT) PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)FOR OCT. 7, 2013 PHOTOSIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MARIOTA) FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)