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Original Issue


Juan Gonzalez: another story about an obscenely rich athlete who
thinks the world owes him even more adulation.
--GERRY HILL, Regina, Saskatchewan

Misery in Motown

I think I speak for all fans when I say that we feel your pain,
Juan Gonzalez (Courting Disaster, May 29). To ask a righthanded
power hitter to play in a park in which the wall in the leftfield
power alley is 398 feet from home plate and pay him only millions
of dollars is unfair! I've heard that Ted Williams, Carl
Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn and Mo Vaughn are seeking your counsel
because the Red Sox made them play in a park with a deep
rightfield alley. Please, Juan, help them get compensation for
this affront!
PAUL LECAIN, Sandown, N.H.

I find it ironic that your May 29 issue started with a piece
recalling former Tiger Kirk Gibson's wonderful
bottom-of-the-ninth World Series home run, hit when he had two
bad legs (CATCHING UP WITH). I then read about Gonzalez's refusal
to stand on deck, let alone bat, because he had one bad leg.
BARRY VOLAIN, Springfield, Mass.

When the Tigers began wooing Gonzalez, I experienced the same
sort of gnawing gloom one feels while watching a dear old friend
marry the wrong partner. You know in your bones that the union
isn't going to last. What does a guy with four marriages know
about commitment?
KIRK HEINZE, Mason, Mich.

We're not booing Gonzalez for his poor start; inevitably his
stats will improve dramatically. We're showing that we will not
cheer for a rent-a-player.
Clinton Township, Mich.

Slippery Slope

I found the article on my former college teammate Tank Black
interesting (Web of Deceit, May 29). However, I wish to correct
the record. Despite Carson-Newman athletic director David
Barger's assertion, Tank was not thought of as a "hard-nosed
player." Tank's small size, circus catches and his ability to
appeal to boosters resulted in a loyal following. But he was
never thought of as tough and he certainly was not a team player.
What's happened to Tank is a tragedy, but let's not overblow his
accomplishments as a player.
LEE CARDWELL, Gambrills, Md.

The article on Black shows why athletes shouldn't ignore
academics during their collegiate careers. Perhaps learning
business basics, such as how to look up a stock price, could have
made these men suspect that they were being robbed.
KEN LEMIEUX, Warren, Mich.

It's difficult to feel sympathy for a group of athletes, one of
whom is an accused murderer, who have lost hundreds of thousands
of dollars, which they will recoup when they sign their next
"monster deal," as Fred Taylor put it.

The disturbing thing about the swindle allegations against Black
is that after being accused of robbing naive athletes and their
trusting families, Black claimed the alleged transgressions were
all a conspiracy by whites. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
isn't turning over in his grave. He's spinning in it.
JOE PAQUIN, Hope Valley, R.I.

Family Values

Kudos for the article on Anthony and DeDe Munoz's raising of
their two wonderful children (Chips off the Old Block, May 29).
While vacationing in Hawaii 13 years ago, I was honored to meet
Anthony after a Pro Bowl practice. I was impressed not only by
his physical presence but also by what an articulate and
compassionate gentleman he was. While Anthony is certainly a
consensus Hall of Famer in football; more important, he and DeDe
are first-class parents.
BRAD J. MATHISEN, Poulsbo, Wash.

It's refreshing to read about one of football's best players
being so involved with his family. Thanks for being frank about
how faith plays a vital part in the lives of the Munoz family.
JEFF EMHOFF, Cazenovia, N.Y.

To those cynics out there who may think the Munozes are too good
to be true: As Michelle's American history teacher, an avid Mason
High girls-basketball fan and an acquaintance of the Munoz family
for 10 years, I can tell you that every good word printed about
them is true. They may call themselves blessed, but they are a
blessing to Cincinnati.

Silence Is Golden

After reading Steve Rushin's article on Bill Walton (AIR AND
SPACE, May 29) and watching the NBA playoffs, I have only one
thing to say: I wish Walton had lost his ability to talk instead
of his ability to walk.
RICHMOND CHESTER, Suisun City, Calif.


Lords of the No Rings

You left out one of the best examples of no ring, no respect
when you failed to mention the Buffalo Bills of 1990 through '93
(SCORECARD, June 5). Jim Kelly (above) and company did something
over that stretch that no NFL team has done before or since:
They played in four consecutive Super Bowls. Win, lose or draw,
if you make it to the championship game four times in a row, you
have to be great!
MARK DECELLE, Cape Coral, Fla.