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Original Issue


The Commish

Frank Deford's otherwise fascinating profile of Bud Selig
(Suicide Squeeze, July 8) was wrong on one point: Deford insists
that public sentiment is shifting toward the owners. We fans
think both sides are out of their minds.
Jason Wolf Minneapolis

"Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like
anything else, through hard work." Vince Lombardi said it, and
Bud Selig carries it out. He deserves a lifetime contract.
Merrill Grant, Sacramento

Selig's legacy as commissioner was sealed for me in 1994 when the
owners walked away from the bargaining table, canceling the
playoffs and the World Series.
Scott Shoreman, Baltimore

Selig's crowning achievement may very well be the 7-7 tie in an
All-Star Game that no one wanted to win.
Doug Redford, Grand Rapids

Selig promises a united front among the owners even though it's
their inability to police themselves that skewed things in the
first place. They couldn't even conspire properly. (Remember
collusion?) It is the owners, not the players, who should be
blamed for any impending work stoppage.
Eric Porter, Omaha

Sammy Says No

To some people, Rick Reilly's challenging Sammy Sosa to take a
drug test (THE LIFE OF REILLY, July 8) may have been
sensationalism, but Sosa, a public figure who should understand
the scrutiny of the press, has boasted of his desire to be
tested and put the issue of steroids to rest. The players'
association has artfully kept mandatory drug testing out of the
bargaining agreement, but that does not prevent a player from
doing the right thing. Between steroids, unreasonable salaries
and the looming strike, baseball desperately needs a hero. Sammy
missed his chance.
Greg Barnes, Argenta, Ill.

Sosa opened himself up to questions regarding steroid use when
he stated he would be first in line for testing. If he isn't
using steroids, why did he become so offended when offered the
opportunity to be tested?
Jana Emmert, Duluth

It's too bad Sammy didn't respectfully decline, citing the terms
of the players' union, rather than inflict a 'roid-like rage on
Kevin Lacke, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

I thought Reilly was too good a journalist to pull an ambush job
as he did on Sammy Sosa. "Just prove you don't use steroids"
sounds a lot like "just prove you're not gay" or "just prove
you're not a Communist." No self-respecting person would allow
himself to be bullied into a drug test by a journalist. I don't
know which is worse, Reilly's ambushing Sosa or Reilly's
pathetic attempt to turn Sosa's reaction into a quasi-admission
of guilt.
Randle G. Reece, Boca Raton, Fla.

I can only assume that Reilly asked the question to get the
response he received. In that case he accomplished his mission:
getting his name in the news. I now respect Sosa more and Reilly
a lot less.
Luis Hernandez, Washington, D.C.

What Reilly suggested to Sosa would have put him in clear
conflict with the MLB Players Association. Yes, his leadership
on the issue might have an impact on a testing policy, but it
could also get him in serious trouble with his union and his
peers. I wonder what it would be like after the test to face
those fastballs coming inside a little closer and a little higher?
Anthony Howie, Vancouver

I think it took a real gutsy guy to finally say, "Why wait?"
Chad Barfield, Cooper City, Fla.

World View

Finally, some World Cup coverage about countries other than the
U.S. (Seize the Day, July 8). You've already Americanized every
other sport; please, don't turn the World Cup into the Super
Gabriel Venditti, Palgrave, Ont.

Ahead of His Time

I find it interesting that while you pat Bud Selig on the back
for leading baseball into an era of interleague play, realignment
and reorganization, you fail to mention whose ideas these really
were. Charles 0. Finley should be given credit for long ago
suggesting these radical changes to the game. Baseball might have
seen these innovations sooner if the rest of the owners did not
so personally dislike Charlie 0.
Nick Refvem, Moscow, Idaho


COLOR PHOTO: NEIL LEIFER UNPOPULAR PROPHET Finley with his 1974 world champion Oakland A's.