The Vaudeville Nine
Steve Rushin's article Rundown on the Pirates (May 4) was a breath of fresh air for this Bucs fan. Rushin did a brilliant job showing that the Pirates aren't just Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek, but a team.
The Stone Age
The profile of Jeff Stone in Franz Lidz's story Flashes in the Pan (May 4) was interesting, but the article would be an even bigger success if it provided the publicity Stone appears to require to get the shot at the majors that he deserves. Many Red Sox fans are still baffled as to why Stone, who excelled for three seasons (1989 to '91) in Triple A, never got a fair shot on a team for which his speed, quick bat and quiet temperament would have been refreshing assets. Given the choice between the know-it-all-yet-know-nothing mentality of a number of millionaire ballplayers and the simple outlook of a man happy to play for "$500 and a handshake with Pete Rose," the choice should be easy.
JAY AND PATTI SWIATEK
Seattle's upset of Golden State in the first round of the NBA playoffs proved George Karl's talents as a coach. Karl couldn't have picked a better mentor than Golden State coach Don Nelson (Head to Head, May 4). Like Mike Krzyzewski, whose Duke team defeated Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers in this year's Final Four, the student often gets the upper hand.
There is another piece of information that made the Golden State Warriors-Seattle SuperSonics series intriguing. Not only was George Karl coaching against his mentor, Don Nelson, but he was also matched up against two former players who had helped him regain status in the coaching ranks. Current Warriors Mario Elie and Vince Askew played under Karl when he coached the Albany Patroons of the CBA to the highest winning percentage in CBA history. The 1990-91 Patroons went 50-6, including 28-0 at home in Knickerbocker Arena during the regular season. Karl returned the favor to Elie and Askew by telling Nelson about the duo, who both landed in Oakland by the end of the 1990-91 season.
LISA M. AUDI
Community Relations Coordinator
Jonathan Takes Enemy
Updating your item (Letters, March 30) on Jonathan Takes Enemy, the Montana Crow Indian who was the focus of Gary Smith's Shadow of a Nation (Feb. 18, 1991), The Billings Gazette reported on April 15: "Takes Enemy has withdrawn from his classes at Rocky Mountain College for the spring semester. 'He felt it was in the best interest for him and his family to move on,' said [coach Jeff] Malby. 'He thanked me for helping, but he's not coming back to Rocky.' ...The 26-year-old Takes Enemy, who played his high school basketball for Hardin, has discussed playing for Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho, but would have to make up his credits during summer school. If Takes Enemy opts for Lewis-Clark State next fall, it would reunite him with his former high school coach, George Pfeifer."
I am sorry Takes Enemy left Rocky Mountain College. I enjoyed watching him play these last two years.
I was wondering how your SCORECARD item Earth to Bush (May 4) slipped into your pages. In it you admonish George Bush for his reluctance to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro without mentioning in any way how that affects the sporting world.
Call me a crackpot, but I hope none of you are baseball purists, because it occurs to me that we could save thousands of trees by outlawing wooden bats and mandating aluminum bats in the majors. Please leave the politics to the politicians.
JOSEPH A. HUG
SI has the right idea on the whole spectrum of world events to include such a serious environmental, political and economic article in a sports magazine. I hope it will make the so-called Environmental President realize that we will all be hurt if the U.S. doesn't join with the rest of the world to combat this disaster.
Regarding your May 4 cover photo of Barry Bonds of the Pirates, I couldn't help but notice that the sweatband on Bonds's left wrist displayed a picture of him. If Bonds is so in love with himself, perhaps when he tests the free agency market in October, he should negotiate a contract calling for his photo to be placed on the backs of the jerseys of the shortstop and third baseman. That way he could admire himself from his position in leftfield without having to take his eyes off the action.
The best player in baseball? Perhaps. Maybe the biggest ego, too. How about a closer look at that sweatband?
A. W. RAYMOND
•Here it is. By the way, a number of major league players wear wristbands featuring pictures of themselves.—ED.
RONALD C. MODRA
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.