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Original Issue


Barry Bonds
Richard Hoffer's article about Barry Bonds (The Importance of Being Barry, May 24) makes me ashamed to be a baseball fan. A player is treated like a god by children all over America, yet he can't find the time to sign some autographs after a game. Grow up, Barry.

Your story not only took us behind the scenes in a baseball clubhouse but also let us smell the players' expensive cologne and feel their huge egos.
Lilburn, Ga.

Thousands of electricians and plumbers were offended by Arizona State coach Jim Brock's remark to Bonds about his college teammates: "I tried to tell him that these guys, 20 years from now, would be electricians and plumbers, but he'd be making millions." Brock is implying that being an electrician or a plumber is a degrading job. Hey, Brock, if you're reading this article and your lights go out or your toilet overflows, give Barry a call!
Harrison, N.Y.

I'm confused. The greatest player to put on a Giant uniform since Willie Mays—and you trash him. Barry Bonds has revitalized the joys of baseball for San Francisco fans by playing his heart out. He didn't sign a contract to win popularity contests. He's being paid to play ball, and in this fan's view he's worth every penny the Giants are paying him.
Fairfax, Calif.

It's difficult to determine who has the bigger ego—Barry Bonds or your peevish writer. The hit piece on Bonds obviously was the result of the treatment Holler received from Bonds. Why should your readers care about Bonds's aloofness toward the press?
Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Avenging Gods?
As I was reading Young and the Restless (May 31), about Steve Young, I began to realize, This sounds like Danny White! Could it be that the former Dallas Cowboy quarterback has been reincarnated as Steve Young by the football gods to avenge the decline of Dallas and the ascension of San Francisco, which began with The Catch in the 1981 NFC Championship Game? Consider:

White and Young both left western colleges (Arizona State and BYU, respectively) to play for non-NFL pro teams (White in the WFL and Young in the USFL). Both joined NFL teams when those teams were at the height of their reigns. Both served humble apprenticeships to legendary quarterbacks (Roger Staubach of the Cowboys and Joe Montana of the 49ers).

When White and Young finally became starters, they established themselves as fine passers who were capable of taking their teams as far as the NFC Championship Game. But White, though he set several Cowboy passing records, never took Dallas any further. Young has led the league in passing for each of the last two years, but the 49ers missed the playoffs in '91 and lost the NFC championship—to Dallas—last season. Finally, when White and Young failed to take their teams to the Super Bowl, they both endured murmurings from teammates and fans who wanted their backups to start.

Dallas refused to acknowledge that White was not blessed with the ability to win the big games, and its love affair with him was one reason the Cowboys went into decline. It appears that San Francisco now faces a Danny White situation. Bay Area residents have enjoyed unprecedented success at the expense of the Cowboys. They should turn a humble eye to Dallas and learn that the football gods have an ironic sense of humor.
Richardson, Texas

D. Wayne Lukas
As a racing fan, I have watched D. Wayne Lukas since he entered the business. What happened to Union City in the Preakness (Man on a Hot Seat, June 7) was a tragedy, not mishandling. Lukas would never endanger the horses under his training. If he did, he would not be so accomplished and so highly regarded in the racing world.

While I have always deplored Lukas's scorched-earth training tactics, having watched with increasing disgust as he ran many talented 2-year-olds into early retirement, I am equally repelled by the newfound courage of many sportswriters who now blast him. When Lukas was at the top of the training standings and routinely winning Grade I races from California to New York, many of these same pundits remained silent. Now that Lukas is struggling both financially and on the track, they've suddenly become brave.
New York City



The similarities are such that they raise a question: Has White (top) returned to the NFL as Young?



[See caption above.]

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