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David Robinson may have been blessed with size and talent, but
his values are what I respect the most.
--DAN EASTMAN, Baton Rouge


The NBA lost me this year, but David Robinson's account of the
NBA Finals almost makes me want to become a fan again (Mission
Accomplished, July 5). If only there were more players with his
we-not-me attitude.

While there is nothing wrong with Robinson's enjoying his
well-deserved moment in the spotlight, some perspective is in
order. Beating an eighth-seeded, centerless team in a
lockout-shortened season should dictate that he keep the
gloating to a minimum.
JACK BUNGART, Napa, Calif.

I was disappointed in Robinson after reading his article about
the Spurs' victory in the Finals. He has always exhibited
maturity and professionalism during his 10 years in the league.
However, the substance and tone of his article was that of a
defensive adolescent who needed to say "take that" to his real
or imagined detractors.


Thanks to John Schulian for his wonderful story of Bailey
Santistevan and the lessons he taught on the diamond to the boys
in Bingham Canyon, Utah (Bailey's Boys, July 5). Many American
men think back with great fondness on their boyhood baseball
days. I wish there were a Bailey Santistevan coaching in every
town in the U.S.

It's too bad that places like Bingham Canyon don't survive to
provide us with a living piece of history and a tribute to the
WILLIAM HALLIGAN, Englewood, Colo.

The article batted 3 for 4 in my book. It hit my heart, my mind
and my memory. I counted 118 boys in the picture on pages 70-71,
and it was then that I wondered about the girls who also lived
in that grim mining town.
ROBERT ROSS, Hendersonville, N.C.


In your SCORECARD item entitled Party Towns (July 5), you failed
to mention Green Bay after the 1997 Super Bowl. Thousands lined
the streets for the parade in the cold and snow, and 60,790-seat
Lambeau Field was full for the ceremony. All this in a city of
about 100,000 people. That means Green Bay easily topped the
attendance percentages in the cities you listed.
HARIS EHLAND, Mary Esther, Fla.

The Detroit Red Wings swept the Stanley Cup Finals two years in
a row. After the Wings did so in 1997, their parade drew one
million people. In '98 they topped that by drawing 1.2 million
people. The most recent U.S. census figures put the population
of the Motor City at 970,000. Doesn't that mean that both
parades attracted more than 100% of the city's population?
ED SHEDLOCK, Howell, Mich.


I'm devastated that Willy Voet must take pills to help him sleep
through those haunting thoughts of jail (Drug Pedaling, July 5).
Perhaps if he hadn't been up to his ears in illegal drug
trafficking for 20 years, he might not suffer from insomnia.
Also, I doubt Voet would have felt compelled to "cleanse his
conscience" regarding drug use in the Tour de France if he
hadn't been caught.
JOHN DOCHERTY JR., Castleton, N.Y.


While S.L. Price was justified in chastising the attitudes of
Jim Courier, Tim Henman and Chris Gorringe, the chief executive
of the All England Club, there is no reason for men and women
players to receive the same prize money at Grand Slam events
(INSIDE TENNIS, July 5). The solution? Make women's matches
best-of-five sets (at least in the semis and finals) like the
men's. Increase their amount of play, and they will deserve the
increase in the amount of pay.
JAMES GIZA, Baltimore


I enjoyed John Garrity's article on the Town Courses of Scotland
and can personally attest to their affordability (The Accidental
Tourist, July 12). While there last summer on business, I was
having lunch at the Hawick Club--not world class or famous but a
challenging little course with some terrific views. I got into a
conversation with the greenkeeper, and he told me that a full
membership had just gone up to 175 pounds, about $280. Then I
asked about the greens fees. He looked puzzled and asked what I
meant, and I explained I was inquiring what it would cost to
play a round. He grinned and replied, "Are ye daft, lad, for 175
quid you can play as much as you want as long as you want the
year 'round."
DON VIDLER, Larchmont, N.Y.


Kudos to Walter Bingham for hitting the nail on the head in his
article The Greatest Open? I Think Not (TEEING OFF, July 5).
Having played Pinehurst No. 2 on several occasions, I find it an
enjoyable freak show. The greens are neither fair nor
challenging. To say it is Donald Ross's greatest achievement
slights that defenseless gentleman. The greens were designed
first to facilitate drainage and second to create a difficult
target. Any modern architect who fashioned such atrocities would
never find work again! The U.S. Open will continue to be great
at places like Pebble Beach or Shinnecock Hills. Spare us
another experience at Pinehurst No. 2, where the luckiest golfer
becomes champion.
DUKE ROHIFFS, Mesquite, Nev.

After reading Bingham's assessment, I agree 100%. After the
first day, I was wondering where the windmill was located. I was
glad to see the best players in the world play as I do, but it
also irritated me to see the world's top golfers reduced to
looking like rank amateurs. If tournament organizers think the
spectacle at Pinehurst No. 2 was great, they missed the boat.
BERT WHITE, LaFayette, N.Y.


It bothers me that John Daly was so disgusted by the conditions
at the U.S. Open that he might never play the tournament again
(Going for Broke, June 28). Pinehurst ruined what could have
been a very good Open. Congratulations, John, for letting the
USGA have it.
ALLAN ARSENAULT, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

John Daly's conduct at the U.S. Open was deplorable. Not his
comments, because anyone is entitled to express his opinions.
What was inexcusable was his disregard for the rules of golf. As
his shot was rolling backward on the slope of the green at the
8th hole on Sunday, he walked up to it and struck it again.
That's a violation, and every golfer, amateur or professional,
knows it. If Daly had any respect for the game that has paid him
a lot of money, he would have complied with the rules.

It's about time we cut Daly loose. He enjoys his victim status
and notoriety, and has no intention of cleaning up his act. He's
a Gen-X athlete doing everything to excess and not giving a
damn. He should sit down with Earl Woods and see how best to
exploit his image. I see a diet cookbook in the making, along
with a self-help video.
JOHN NYHAN, Fairview Park, Ohio


You call Pinehurst No. 2 "perhaps the toughest layout the U.S.
Open has ever seen" (Hell Hole, June 28). Let me introduce you
to another Donald Ross course, Inverness in Toledo, Ohio. In
four U.S. Opens, nobody has broken par there over four rounds.
Not Sam Snead, not Jack Nicklaus, not Arnold Palmer. Perhaps you
should do some more research before handing out laurels.
ORRIS TABNER, Toledo, Ohio


John Garrity's article on the U.S. Open (Payne Relief, June 28)
was superb with the following exception: Tiger Woods is a great
golfer, but he's not the only golfer. Garrity refers to "Duval,
Mickelson and Stewart finishing with two-day totals of three
under par, with Tiger Woods and three others two shots behind."
You should have named those other golfers.
HENRY S. FATTON, Barnegat, N.J.


What's the big deal? Payne Stewart's putt on the 72nd hole was
your standard miniature golf shot.
RICK SYLVESTER, Squaw Valley, Calif.


This year's U.S. Open was everything the USGA and fans could
wish for: dramatic, dangerous, riveting and memorable. Not to
take anything away from Juli Inkster's U.S. Women's Open
victory, but hitting short irons to big, barely bunkered greens
isn't appropriate for such a championship. The LPGA wants to be
taken seriously as it chases the almighty corporate dollar, but
playing majors on fluffy courses is not the way to achieve that
EDDIE G. TATE, Orlando


COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN John Daly made few new fans as he blundered his way around Pinehurst during the U.S. Open.


For Gerry Callahan not to mention Hall of Famer Stan Musial's
name in his essay on the best living ballplayer now that Joe
DiMaggio has passed away is ridiculous (SCORECARD, July 19). In
his 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Musial won three
MVP awards, had 3,630 hits, clubbed 475 home runs, had 1,951
RBIs, was chosen to play on the All-Star team every year and won
seven National League batting titles and three World Series
rings while hitting .331, a higher lifetime batting average than
those of DiMaggio, Henry Aaron or Willie Mays.