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Original Issue


Congratulations on the beautiful cover shot of Pete Sampras. Too
bad it was buried on page 36!
--DEAN GEORGARIS Santa Monica, Calif.

The Summer Game

Your in-depth coverage (Baseball Midseason Report, July 17) was
one of the best summaries of the paradigm shift in how baseball
is played--if not necessarily won. As the game's management comes
to recognize that good pitchers are more valuable than
dime-a-dozen power hitters, I am confident we will see a return
to the game's balance.

The home run boom might be filling seats, but it's ruining
baseball by making ordinary what was once a revered ability.
JON PAINE, Provo, Utah

Dennis Eckersley may well have popularized the term "walk-off!"
home run in the early '90s, but he didn't pioneer the use of the
term. Japanese big leaguers have used the term "sayonara home
run" for decades.
JEFF LANCASTER, Lafayette, Calif.

Thanks for the dynamite article on the Mariners' Edgar Martinez.
He works hard, demands of himself the best he can be and is
wonderful to fans. In these days of spoiled millionaire brats,
Martinez is truly in a class all his own.
DEBORAH SCOTT, Mount Vernon, Wash.

It seems to me that Tom Verducci overstates the dilution of
pitching due to expansion. Didn't the addition of four teams add
only about 48 pitchers (11 or 12 per team)? Where did the rest of
the 129 that Verducci writes about come from?
JOHN BEUKEMA, Minneapolis

The 74 additional pitchers cited for 1993 and the 55 for '98 were
the actual number of pitchers used, not the number of roster
spots available--ED.

Crossing Their Tees

Thanks for Rick Reilly's piece about the Arizona Golf
Association (AGA) tournament (THE LIFE OF REILLY, July 17). I
only wish Reilly had included the addresses and telephone
numbers of the AGA officials so all golf lovers could properly
thank them for showing everyone that golf is not for having fun.
At the top of every backswing and before every putt may they
clearly see the tears, hear the sobs and feel the emptiness of
those two boys on their long ride home.
KEVIN HORNE, New Orleans

The cold-blooded treatment given to a father and son at a
relatively insignificant golf tournament blew me away. I hope the
officials got their yearly dose of feeling important.
MARK HEIDEN, Alexandria, Ind.

On behalf of those of us who try to play by the rules, I would be
willing to provide a copy of The Rules of Golf and Decisions on
the Rules of Golf to Reilly so he could cross out the rules he
doesn't think we need to follow. You could then publish these
revisions so people could play Reilly--or whatever they would call
it--because it wouldn't be golf.

For Pete's Sake

Kudos to S.L. Price on his piece about Pete Sampras (For the
Ages, July 17). The article was just like Pete--smooth, subtle,
honest and without a lot of hype. Thanks for pointing out the
real history that was made at Wimbledon 2000: seven singles
titles in eight years, a record 13 Grand Slam singles crowns and
a genuine display of emotion from Pete to his family, loved ones
and fans.

I've followed Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John
McEnroe, and it is evident that tennis fans have been blessed in
their opportunity to watch Sampras. In my view, it is clear that
Laver is the greatest lefthander to play the game and Sampras is
the best righthanded player. These two players also share the
class and grace that exemplify the game of tennis.
JEFF THOMA, Ukiah, Calif.

Why does Richard Williams insist on detracting from his
daughters' accomplishments by making ludicrous statements
designed to offend nearly everyone else in their sport? Venus and
Serena are awe-inspiring athletes, but women's tennis would not
be dead without them. Richard's antics make me less likely to
cheer for his daughters, particularly when they play against
gracious champions who think enough of themselves, their
competitors and their sport to give credit when it is due.
MONTE SMITH, Loveland, Ohio


A Bronx Bomb

Your article on "walk-off!" home runs listed four "walk-off!"
postseason-series-ending homers. How could you forget New York
Yankees first baseman Chris Chambliss's 1976 American League
Championship Series-ending home run (above) against the Royals?
I still get chills when I think of it.