THE CAMPANIS AFFAIR
Thanks to Peter Gammons for his excellent editorial on "The Campanis Affair" (SCORECARD, April 20). It's about time a writer with the power to describe this sorry situation spoke out about it.
In discussing the socioeconomics of tennis in SCORECARD, you gave one of the best reasons I can think of for doing something about baseball's case of institutional racism: "Clearly a huge pool of potential talent is going untapped." Baseball is better for having accepted Jackie Robinson and the black players who followed him. It will be better still when blacks are accepted for their administrative skills as well as for their physical ones.
JOSEPH H. BROWN
Iowa City, Iowa
The reason baseball doesn't have more blacks in its front offices is simple: Jobs are given via an old-boy network.
Lafayette Hill, Pa.
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Thanks for telling us everything anybody has ever wanted to know about baseball players' salaries ($256,296,950, April 20). One question, though. Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd gets $550,000 and Jack (I Want More Money) Morris makes $1,850,000? Something's wrong.
Your piece on salaries brought out some interesting, albeit trivial, statistics. For example: Are the Smiths keeping up with the Joneses? You bet—the four active Smiths listed have a combined income of $3,560,000, compared with the four Joneses' paltry total of $667,500.
There are 10 players named Davis, and they have a total salary of more than $5.4 million. However, your top three outfielders, Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson and Dale Murphy, combine for more income (nearly $6 million) than all 10 Davises.
I decided to take Eddie Murray's salary ($2,460,000) and see what I could do with it. I came up with a team of nine starters and one relief pitcher that I think would easily win the AL West: Wally Joyner ($165,000) at first, Shawon Dunston ($155,000) at second, Tony Fernandez ($350,000) at short, Chris Brown ($215,000) at third, B.J. Surhoff ($62,500) behind the plate, Eric Davis ($300,000), Kirby Puckett ($365,000) and Barry Bonds ($100,000) in the outfield, Oil Can Boyd ($550,000) as the starting pitcher and Charlie Kerfeld ($110,037) in relief.
Not bad, huh? And, oh yeah, I still have $87,463 left.
De Witt, N.Y.
It seems to me that Larry Mize, with his great Masters victory, was far more deserving of a cover story than these baseball players and their salaries.
The Dwight Gooden case (A Crash Landing for an Ace, April 13) demonstrates that players today are paid more money than they know how to spend. I remember when Ted Williams was paid about $18,000 to hit .406—and you could watch him do it from a good grandstand seat for one dollar.
The best way to beat the drug problem is to put a cap of $250,000 on all salaries. To prevent price gouging by owners, all ticket prices should be scaled back to, say, half of what they are now.
JOHN B. HOLWAY
That issue was the pits. If I want to read about money, I'll read MONEY.
PAUL BODDY ($12,500)
Robert W. Creamer's sidebar "Once Upon a Time in Cleveland..." (Pow! Wow! April 6) stated that the Indians took over first place in May 1954 and never relinquished it. I was an 11-year-old Yankee fan then, and I seem to remember that on July 4, 1954, after the first games of their respective double-headers (the Yankees against the Tigers and the Indians against the Senators), the Yankees were in first place by half a game, though they were no longer there at the end of the second games.
CHARLES G. WILLIAMS JR.
•It was on July 18, 1954, not July 4, but you're right that for a brief period that day the Yankees occupied first.—ED.
First it was a lower pitching mound. Now it's a strike zone the size of a credit card (Whatever Happened to the Strike Zone? April 6). Can't major league pitchers get a break? Let's bring back the so-called high hard one.
I gave up baseball at the age of 11 because I couldn't hit the high inside pitch, although I could hit the low outside pitch a ton. What a shame I didn't stay in baseball. I could be leading the majors today, at the age of 59!
DAVID S. CROYDER
VOICE OF THE TIGERS
Congratulations to William Taaffe for his superb piece on a wonderfully gifted human being, Ernie Harwell (RADIO, April 13). Twenty-one years ago I had the good fortune to meet Ernie. I was a young boy growing up without a father, and Ernie became a terrific role model for me. Without question, he is one of the sweetest individuals ever to grace the broadcasting profession.
Your tribute to Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell was greatly appreciated. Not only is he revered in Michigan, as your article pointed out, but he is also revered by a whole generation of former Michigan residents upon whose lives he made an indelible impression. Although I wish the world were filled with Ernie Harwells, I'm grateful there is one.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
How well I remember hot summer nights in the '50s and '60s, lying in bed listening to Ernie Harwell and George Kell make the Tiger games come alive on my radio. Televised games can't hold a candle to Ernie's broadcasts. Nobody does it better.
I commend Roy Blount Jr. on his writing (Attacking the Amazon, April 13). I laughed through the entire article.
I can empathize with Blount because my wife and I went down the Amazon on the Yacu-Mama with Ney Olortegui's Amazon Odyssey in June 1985. I remember standing on the bow of the raft (or was it the stern? It was continually rotating 180°) and asking myself out loud, "What in the hell am I doing here?" A fellow "a-benturer" overheard me and said, "Whenever you can ask yourself that question, you know you are on an adventure, not just a vacation."
We found Ney to be like the Great Provider to all of the villagers along the Huallaga, Mara‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬±ón and Ucayali rivers. He would supply them with clothing, medicine, etc. brought from the States, and they would be waiting for us along the muddy banks with open arms, big grins and laughter whenever they saw that funny-looking balsa raft.
I am very happy we went on this trip with Ney. He wants all people to experience the Amazonian jungle the way it really is, not from a cruise ship. I am also glad we went before reading Blount's account of his experiences, because I truly wonder if I would have gone afterward.
First you give us an article about rhinos (The Rhino Wars, March 2) and now you have one on the Amazon. What is this, National Geographic!
I read with great interest the excellent PERSPECTIVE (Dec. 15) on Ned Gillette's attempt to row from Cape Horn across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Since then I have combed each issue looking for a follow-up. Please tell me if he and his crew made it.
•The voyage had to be postponed because of Antarctic pack-ice conditions Gillette described as "the worst in 15 years." He and his crew plan to try again, probably in late October.—ED.
In your story on baseball salaries there appear to be a couple of errors. First, isn't that Mike Young rather than fellow Orioles outfielder John Shelby pictured on page 75?
Second, are we really to believe that Dave Sax, a reserve catcher for the Red Sox with all of 57 major league at bats through 1986, and his brother, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax, runner-up for the 1986 National League batting crown (.332), are earning identical salaries of $740,000?
FRANK T. ITTNER
•Sorry about the mix-ups. Here (below left) is a photo of Shelby, whose salary is $300,000. Young (below right), who was on the disabled list, makes $350,000. An error involving Dave Sax's salary—the actual figure is $90,000—occurred during copy processing. Also, Pittsburgh pitcher Don Robinson's salary should have read $620,000, not $185,000, which is Cincinnati pitcher Ron Robinson's figure.—ED.
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