While a case can be made that Andre Agassi deserves the top
ranking for 1999, S.L. Price's assertion that "he's the best
player in the world" seems ridiculous (Father Knew Best, Sept.
20). Did he forget that a healthy Pete Sampras beat Agassi every
time this summer, including a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 Wimbledon-final
KEN KUNZE, Vista, Calif.
Without Venus Williams's tiring out Martina Hingis in the semis,
I don't believe Serena could have won. Don't cry, Venus. It's
your win too.
BOB NEELD, Williston, Vt.
MEDIOCRITY ON THE MOUND
Your article on the bullpen boom (The Pen Is Mightier, Sept. 20)
raises a question: Why not limit the number of pitching changes
during a game, with exceptions for injuries? It would speed up
the game, enhance the importance of strategy and shift the
emphasis back to the pitcher's endurance and athleticism. Best of
all, it would mitigate the travesty of the DH rule by forcing
American League managers to make tough decisions about pitching
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Texas pitching coach Dick Bosman says, "You need more
reinforcements now because of all the offense." The truth is that
the offense is the result of the mediocre pitchers now in the
game because of expansion and the use of five-man instead of
THOMAS N. LONGSTRETH, Baltimore
LITTLE BIG MEN
I was shocked to see that your Top 10 Little Guys list did not
include Troy Walters of Stanford (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Sept.
20). Walters, a senior who is generously listed at 5'8" and 175
pounds, is on the verge of breaking the Pac-10 career receptions
record and has already broken the career receiving yardage
record. He has been All-Pac-10 twice.
STEPHEN ALLAN, Point Reyes, Calif.
I nominate University of Wisconsin sophomore wide receiver Nick
Davis. In his first seven games for the Badgers this season the
5'10", 177-pound Davis returned 15 punts for 215 yards and a
touchdown, and 10 kickoffs for 218 yards and a touchdown, while
catching 17 passes for 329 yards. As a freshman, Davis led the
Big Ten in punt returns in 1998 and was third nationally.
MIKE MORGAN, Milwaukee
ONE TOUGH COOKIE
Congratulations to Michael Bamberger for his terrific story on
Houston Astros relief pitcher Billy Wagner (Astro Physics, Sept.
20). Wagner has continually overcome adversity that would crumble
many of today's youth and, sadly, far too many baby boomers. He
never really had Daddy in the bullpen when times got tough, but
instead of caving in and whining, he dug in, using any method to
survive and to subsequently flourish. Thank God for heroes like
the Lamies, who deserve a big league save themselves.
JOHNNY WILSON, Bristol, Va.
My wife and I were at the Diamondbacks-Astros game when Wagner
was carried off the field from the pitcher's mound after he was
struck by that line drive hit by Kelly Stinnett. After reading
your story, I thought that was probably one of the least
traumatic things that has happened in his life.
BRUCE WHITEHEAD, Tempe, Ariz.
Your SCORECARD item entitled Hot Dam should have read Dirty Pool
(Sept. 20). We are led to the point of drooling over "the Super
Bowl of whitewater," but then we're never told where the Gauley
River or the Summersville Dam is located.
WALT SCHLIPP, Santa Rosa, Calif.
--The Gauley River and the dam are located in West Virginia,
east of Charleston. --ED.
MORE THAN A RUNNING BACK
Bravo to Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James
(Unaltered States, Sept. 20)! Not for his superb season-opening
game, not for his work ethic, not for his dedication to his
mother, but for shouting to us all: Don't judge a book by its
ROXANNE BRADSHAW, Lexington, Ky.
Mike Ditka went through an awful lot of trouble to get Ricky
Williams, the second best running back in the draft, rather than
SAM DENTZ, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN
I was fascinated by the article on Billy Wagner, but what does
his upbringing have to do with his 100 mph fastball?
--JERRY SCHWARTZ, Chamblee, Ga.
THE INVISIBLE MAN
I opened my issue expecting to find an article about Todd Martin
(above) and his dramatic journey to the finals of the U.S. Open.
There was more to the tournament than the play of Serena and
Venus Williams. It was, after all, the national championship for
both men and women.
NANCY WHITFORD, Champaign, Ill.