PREDICTION: SIMPLE ARITHMETIC
Being of reasonably sound mind and body, I predict the Yankee dynasty is at an end this year and the Red Sox are going to win the pennant. With Ted batting a solid .360, Jensen .340, Piersall .325, Goodman .320 and Vernon .315, we are bound to get more than our share of runs. Brewer and Sullivan will win 20 apiece. Parnell, Baumann, Susce, Delock and Porterfield will win about 70 games between them. The rest of the pitching staff will win at least 25 games, thus giving the Sox 135 victories this season. For the past 10 seasons the Sox have taken it from the Yankees. This year the only thing we would like to take from the Yankees is Mickey Mantle.
•With a 154-game season this should certainly give the Red Sox a comfortable margin of victory.—ED.
PREDICTION: SAD-PAN BALL CLUB
I wish only to set forth a few observations and predictions concerning the demise of the 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers.
Jackie Robinson: Without his steadying influence, competitive spirit, know-how and clutch playing, the Bums will be like a ship without a rudder.
Pee Wee Reese: Old soldiers never die, they just fade away; 1957 could be it.
Sal Maglie: Our hat is off to this guy. To expect a repeat is just asking too much.
Carl Furillo: Used to be a fine outfielder.
Don Newcombe: To the other members of the Brooks we suggest that they hark back to those 1956 World Series checks and thank this guy. A master craftsman, but to achieve more than 20 wins with the 1957 version of the Bums would require superhuman effort.
Roy Campanella: His was a notable career.
Emmett Kelly: Ironically, this guy's sad-pan expression expresses perfectly the Dodger "new look."
DAVID W. DAVIS
PREDICTION: NO L.A. DODGERS
Mr. O'Malley and Mr. Bavasi have pointed to the various improbables in the Brooklyn situation in looking for a new home for the Dodgers. I lived in Los Angeles for five years while I was a student at UCLA and offer the following commentaries about Los Angeles as a baseball town.
The public transportation system of the city is nothing compared with that of New York, and so the city depends almost completely upon automobiles. The stadium and parking lot will have to be reasonably close to the centers of population and to areas where the people can quickly and easily get there by car and away again after the games. And that kind of location will not be easily or cheaply obtained.
It has been my experience that Los Angeles is not a daytime sports town during the week. Else why does the Pacific Coast League play its weekday games at night and play double-headers on Sunday?
The owners of the Dodgers point to the Braves in Milwaukee and how their moving has helped not only the city but all of baseball. But they forget that this is an optimum situation that probably could not be repeated for a long time. In going to Los Angeles, they would have to start absolutely from scratch, whereas in Milwaukee the stadium had already been built and the parking space already available.
I agree with Councilman Kenneth Hahn of Los Angeles that the Dodgers are putting the squeeze on New York to get what they want by threatening to move out to Los Angeles. And I'll put it in my own best Brooklynese by saying that "the Dodgers ain't goin' nowhere."
PREDICTION: NEW LIFE IN DETROIT
This is the year the Yanks get the ax from the revitalized Tigers. They have three solid, potential 20-game winners in Lary, Hoeft and Foytack, plus good hitting in Kuenn, Kaline and Company. My choices: A.L.—Detroit, New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Baltimore and Washington; N.L.—Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
LOUIS E. BLUHM
PREDICTION: THEIR TURN
I would like to go out on the limb and make a prediction on the National League.
1. Milwaukee (this year it's their turn).
2. Brooklyn (lack of youth).
3. Cincinnati (still need pitching).
4. St. Louis (they won't be far from the top).
5. Chicago (trades helped; need center fielder).
6. Pittsburgh (not much change).
7. Philadelphia (no infield).
8. New York (weak all around).
Here is my opinion on the outcome of the N.L. race.
1. Milwaukee (they should finally live up to what is expected of them).
2. New York (the "say hey" kid should come back).
3. Brooklyn (dropping slightly but are still strong).
4. Cincinnati (lack of pitching should tell).
5. St. Louis (Stan the Man isn't going to be enough to pull them through).
6. Philadelphia (Roberts only pitching, also not much hitting).
7. Chicago (not much either way).
INFORMATION: OPINION POLL
I am acting as spokesman for an enthusiastic group of civil engineers, and, I might add, reluctantly so, to obtain a highly regarded opinion from your baseball staff to answer the following disagreement. We have found ourselves with dissimilar views as to the worth of a pitcher, available for a trade, in his earned run average as compared to his games-won record. We ask the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED baseball experts if, in their opinion, a pitcher with a low earned run average and a poor win record is more desirable than a pitcher with a fairly high earned run average yet a substantial 20-game winner?
This question has become overwhelmingly important during our coffee breaks, drowning out all customary discussions of toll roads vs. freeways.
FREDERICK A. POTTER III
•The consensus here is that ERA is the better indicator of a pitcher's individual talents, but that no manager is likely to turn down a 20-game winner.—ED.
INFORMATION: LADIES' DAY
I am one of those women who need the information which you describe in "Baseball Made Plain" (E&D, Feb. 11).
Can you tell me how to secure Commissioner Frick's primer for women?
Mrs. ERWIN S. SELLE
•Mass distribution of the booklet will be handled by the ball clubs, but individuals may obtain it through Commissioner Frick's office, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20, N.Y.—ED.
INFORMATION: DEAD-BALL GAME
For nearly three decades we have heard the constantly repeated chorus that if the great hitters of the early days of baseball had had an opportunity to belt the modern "rabbit" ball, their performances would have been astronomical.
Obviously, there was no rebuttal possible, so the heroic defenders of other years always manage to earn at least a draw.
Mrs. Sam Crawford recently remarked that this question had been asked her often and her only reply was that Sam (aged 76) is in no condition to prove what he could have done 40 years ago with the "rabbit," so why don't they wind a small supply of the old balls and see what the present-day Mantles, Mathewses, Mayses, et al. could do with it?
Of course, the suggestion is so logical and simple that no one connected with the administration of baseball would ever stoop so low as to do anything about it. Nevertheless, I am convinced that for an exhibition game or even an All-Star Game it would be an exciting and interesting experiment and one would ensure a packed house.
E. M. KERRIGAN
INFORMATION: SPEED ON BASE
I would like your opinion and proof of what major leaguer is the fastest from the batter's box to first base.
I have had an argument with a school friend as to who is. I say Mickey Mantle.
•Last year in The Sporting News, Lou Miller conscientiously clocked 158 major league players in the batter's box-to-first dash, a distance of 90 feet. The 10 fastest: Mickey Mantle, batting left-handed, 3.3 seconds; Mantle, batting right-handed, 3.4 seconds; Bill White (Giants) 3.4; Willie Mays (Giants), Richie Ashburn (Phillies), Don Blasingame (Cards), Larry Doby (White Sox), Solly Drake (Cubs), Junior Gilliam (Dodgers), Al Pilarcik (Athletics) and Bill Virdon (Pirates) all made it in 3.5 seconds.—ED.
Here are a couple of knotty problems which were encountered at a baseball clinic and after much discussion still remained problems.
Problem No. 1: Runner on third with less than two out. Batter hits to first baseman, and then interferes with first baseman's attempted play on the runner trying to score from third.
Problem No. 2: With runner on second, batter hits ball between third and short, the third baseman deflects the ball toward the shortstop, but ball strikes the runner going from second to third. Is the runner out? Under what conditions may he be called out? I trust you can solve both questions handily.
ROBERT M. CHICK
East Riverdale, Md.
•Problem No. 1: The batter is called out for interference. The runner goes back to third. Problem No. 2: The runner is not out. He may only be called out if the ball strikes him before a fielder has touched it.—ED.
You can certainly have your Mickey Mantle, red-blooded American boy, and your Stan (The Man) Musial, idol of fans and sportswriters alike. And that dash man from Texas—take him too. I'll take Ted Williams—the villain, the bad guy, like in wrestling. Probably the reason I like Ted is the same reason so many good citizens, including so-called sportswriters, dislike him. He is so independent, free like a boid.
It's fascinating to me how a man doing what he wants to do can gripe so many people. Every time Ted fails to observe the little niceties, neglects to bow and scrape when "his" fans expect it and just plain hurts people's feelings—man, that's the greatest.
I get a bigger charge out of watching Williams in batting practice than I do from an entire game, say between the Cubs and Phillies.
K. D. OWENS
Fort Polk, La.