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Next year you'll predict that the Cubs will win the World Series.
--ZACHARY H. SHOTLAND, Boynton Beach, Fla.

We're Serious

I enjoyed your article on Pedro Martinez and your pick of the
Red Sox to win this year's World Series (The Power of Pedro,
March 27). I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and
have followed Pedro's career closely. He not only represents the
best of the Dominican soul, but he also does justice to the
human race with his dedication and humility.
KARIM NAZER, Danbury, Conn.

In the last four months I have read stories in your magazine
about John Rocker, Scottie Pippen, Frank Thomas and Ricky
Williams, and I began to wonder, What is the world coming to if
these men are our role models? Then I read the article about
Martinez, who shows that you can be a millionaire idolized by
the citizens of an entire country and still be a decent human
LISA BEAN, Atkinson, N.H.

You forgot to remove your 3-D glasses when you forecast a title
for the pitching-thin Red Sox. What were you thinking: Pedro and
pray for a four-day tornado?
JIM KILLAM, Poplar Grove, Ill.

I was being treated for delusionary behavior, and my doctors
thought I was cured, so they let me out of the sanatorium. I
walked past a newsstand where I could have sworn that I saw a
prestigious magazine proclaiming that the Red Sox will win this
year's World Series. So now I'm back in the hospital, and
they've doubled my dosage.
PHILIP WHITE, Hillcrest, N.Y,

Please send me a new copy of the Baseball 2000 Preview issue,
since the cover of my subscription copy was so badly damaged in
the mail it appeared as if you predicted the Red Sox would win
the World Series.
BILL O'CONNOR, New York City

I loved it. The curse of the Bambino meets the SI cover jinx! I
could hear all of New England weeping.

I think I speak for all Red Sox fans when I say, What did we ever
do to you? Why do you taunt us this way? Please leave us alone.
DAVID KAHAN, Brookline, Mass

Seems to me that a jinx and a curse cancel each other out and
equal a prophecy.
STEVEN RUBIN, Boulder, Colo.

Tom Verducci must be a Yankees fan.
MIKE BUETOW, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

Hot Corner

In your baseball preview issue, you give the Marlins' starting
pitching 3 1/2 stars (SCOUTING REPORTS, March 27). What were you
thinking? None of the Florida pitchers had more than 15
decisions last year, none had a .500 record, none averaged six
innings per start, and only Alex Fernandez had an ERA of less
than 4.50.
BRADEN WOLF, Keizer, Ore.

To rate Bobby Cox ahead of Felipe Alou as a manager is ludicrous.
Give Alou the Braves, and Atlanta has four rings, not one. Give
Cox the Expos, and Montreal has agita.

Let me get this straight: You say that a five-time Gold Glove
winner "loafs" in the outfield, that an MVP and two-time batting
champion is a "cancer" in the clubhouse? Larry Walker would
trade all his awards for one chance at a pennant. Personal
attacks made anonymously are below the standards of SI.
SCOTT CAMERON, Louisville, Colo.

Elgin Earned it

In your Lord of No Rings item, the obvious choice in basketball
was not even a finalist (SCORECARD, March 27). Elgin Baylor
could shoot outside, play inside, rebound and pass. Karl Malone
owes his "greatness" to the fact that officials allow him to
commit 10 to 15 offensive fouls per game. When Baylor played,
stars weren't given special treatment and basketball was a game
of skill. Now it's a wrestling match.
MICHAEL LORRAINE, Simi Valley, Calif.

Happy News

Thanks to John Walters for highlighting's
effort to unite high school athletes nationwide (SI View, March
27). Unfortunately, his suggestion that positive stories written
by volunteer student journalists make for dull and biased
reading misses the spirit of Why is positive
news considered dull?
AMANDA HILLMAN, Cambridge, Mass.


There But for Grace

What have you been passing out at the late-night SI parties? It
must be something that befuddles the baseball writers' minds.
How else can you explain the fact that Mark Grace (above), who
collected the most base hits in the major leagues in the 1990s,
is listed as the 24th-best first baseman?
BILL GLENN, Pascagoula, Miss.

The Player Value Ratings, in which Grace was ranked No. 24 among
major league first basemen, are intended for Rotisserie baseball
players, who evaluate major leaguers by the same limited
criteria used to calculate PVRs. --ED.