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Original Issue


In regard to the cover shot of Derek Jeter and his four World
Series rings, I hope Alex Rodriguez received his copy.

Play Ball!

The billing on your March 26 cover shouldn't have read "Why Fight
It?" It should have read "Why Watch It?" Dynasties are nice when
a team finds the right chemistry, works its tail off and
discovers a diamond in the rough. But when a dynasty is the
result of one team's buying the best players, as the Yankees do,
because they have more money to spend, that's bad. How can anyone
else catch up?
JOHN MCBRIDE, Fort Dodge, Iowa

As a Yankees fan, I know that World Series rings haven't been
distributed to the players by the team yet. So why is Jeter
wearing four rings on your cover if he only owns three?
Adam Goldschmiedt

--The ring Jeter is wearing on his pinky was commissioned and paid
for by the Yankees' players to commemorate their 2000 World
Series victory. --ED.

So much for your Player Value Rankings. Any rating system that
ranks Jeter at 40 of 425, barely in the top 10%, and Sammy Sosa
at 4 has to be considered suspect.

Awesome Arms

Jeff Pearlman's story on the outfield throw and Ellis Valentine
brought back memories of watching Valentine play Triple A ball in
Memphis when I was 12 years old. He was playing centerfield with
a runner on second when a batter hit a ball to the warning track.
Valentine scooped it up and threw to home plate. The ball was
still rising as it sailed over home plate and the backstop. I
remember grabbing my dad's shirt and saying, "Did you see that!
Did you see that!"

Jose Guillen, Ruben Mateo and Raul Mondesi are top guns, as were
Valentine, Dave Parker and Dave Winfield in their heydays. But
how many of them could consistently throw out base runners at
first like the Brooklyn Dodgers' Carl Furillo, a.k.a. the Reading
JOHN B. ROBERT, Murphy, N.C.

Twin Killing

Tom Verducci's paean to the artistry of the double play brought
back fond memories (Pivot Physics, March 26). Growing up in the
late 1950s, my favorite player was Luis Aparicio. I listened to
the White Sox on the radio, marveling at descriptions of the
exploits of Aparicio and Nellie Fox, whose work around second was
the best in the game.
J.E. MCBEE, Lewiston, N.Y.

Not once did you mention the Detroit Tigers' Alan Trammell and
Lou Whitaker, who turned more double plays than any pair in major
league history.
DENNY MCMAHON, Dearborn, Mich.

Shortchanged in the Soo

You reported that Eric Lindros's "attempts to control the
particulars of his deal are the latest in a string of selfish
moves that began when he refused to play for the Quebec
Nordiques" (INSIDE THE NHL, March 26). Actually, his string began
before that, when he refused to play for the Sault Sainte Marie
Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. These same Soo
Greyhounds were good enough for Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey and
Ron Francis.
SAM IULIANO, Eau Claire, Wis.

March Musings

Finally! Someone is willing to say that the NCAA Division I
basketball tournament selection process is about keeping the
money in the big conferences, not about rewarding teams for
having outstanding seasons (Dirty Pool, March 26). The fun of the
first two rounds is seeing teams like St. Joe's and Kent State
show what they can do. It's not about watching mediocre big
conference schools like Georgia and Wake Forest slog to another

I've been amazed that tournament officials believe they can rank
all the teams in the field. Here's my idea: Seed 16 teams, throw
the rest in a hat and draw them out at random. One stipulation:
No team can play an opponent from its own conference in the first

Based on your article, I should expect regular features on teams
such as Eastern Illinois, Southern Utah and Winthrop, rather than
your normal fare of Duke, Kansas and Kentucky. Or was this your
annual bash-the-NCAA-and-suck-up-to-the-little-guy article?
ADAM SCOTT, Newton, Mass.


Roberto's in Right

Jeff Pearlman writes an article on the sweet science of the
outfield throw and doesn't mention Roberto Clemente (Launchpad,
March 26)? Power, pinpoint accuracy and the grace of a fine
dancer made Clemente the first and last name in this sweet
PAT CASSIDY, New Alexandria, Pa.