I had to laugh when I read the subhead on the New York Yankees' scouting report in your 2005 Baseball Preview (April 4): "If a retooled rotation lives up to its billing, they will end their championship drought." As a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, let me assure you that five years is just a few minutes between drinks of water; it isn't a drought.
Brian Fahey, New York City
When Derek Jeter says, "They have what we want" on the cover of the baseball issue, is he talking about the Red Sox' Manny Ramirez?
Felipe Santiago, Granada Hills, Calif.
What? Have you given up on the hope--as expressed on your April 5, 2004, cover--of the Chicago Cubs' winning the World Series?
Michael Podraza Chicago
I know he spoke anonymously, but I'd really like to know which major league scout said of the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals, "This was a mediocre club last year until they ran the table at the end"? How a club that essentially ended the race for the NL Central pennant on July 20, and had a .500 record or better against every NL team except Houston, could be considered mediocre is beyond me. Perhaps MLB should expand its drug-testing policy to include scouts.
Michael G. Metzger, San Diego
In your time line of batting-order lore (Memorable Moments in Batting Order History, April 4), you missed perhaps the most amazing feat in batting order history. In the 1976 World Series the Cincinnati Reds--managed by Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson--used the exact same nine-man batting order and lineup throughout a four-game sweep of the Yankees. In part because this was the first Series in which the DH was used, no pitcher or pinch hitter for the Reds came to the plate the entire Series.
Anthony O. Mancuso, Columbus, Ohio
What about the May 18, 1912, Detroit-Philadelphia game during which Tigers players struck to protest Ty Cobb's suspension for attacking a heckler in the stands? Detroit fielded a lineup of college and sandlot players. Surely this phantom crew should have been included in your history of batting orders.
Ray Pennetti, Belleville, N.J.
Your time line would have been more complete if it had mentioned that Ken Griffey and his son hit back-to-back home runs in 1990.
Alex Keller, Keizer, Ore.
I was so mad when I read the Scorecard article on Liz Johnson's second-place finish at the PBA's Banquet Open (April 4). I couldn't believe that her first quote was, "Honestly, I didn't think I was good enough to bowl on the men's tour." Too humble, girl. Women can compete with men in certain conditions in which accuracy is more important than muscle. Liz is proof of this, and hopefully more women will follow her lead.
Jackie Wyckoff, Redwood City, Calif.
I've never had much to do with golf--other than using televised tournaments as my designated nap time. I found myself pleasantly surprised, however, by Rick Reilly's column on Annika Sorenstam (Life of Reilly, April 4). It was refreshing to read an article that reminds me of the real reason I watch sports in the first place--for the pure and unbridled competition.
Sarah J. Schamberger, Sarasota, Fla.
Kicking It Around
I was very pleased to find an article about the U.S. soccer team in each of my last two SIs (Yes, Hard Feelings, March 28; Inside Soccer, April 4). Americans continue to bash soccer without trying to understand it, but one day the older generation will realize that Generation X is not only concerned about what was popular in sports when the baby boomers were kids.
Brian Griswold, Royal Oak, Mich.
As a 13-year-old boy growing up in Oakland in the summer of 1982, I collected anything related to baseball. I spent many nights riding BART trains home from A's games, reading lineup cards I had begged the visiting team's manager to give me as I hung over the dugout rail after the game was over. The Holy Grail of my lineup card collection has always been the one from June 23. This was the game--featured in your lineups time line--in which A's manager Billy Martin formed his lineup by pulling names from a hat, a desperate measure to put an end to a miserable losing streak. Kansas City Royals manager Dick Howser was clearly ill-prepared for Martin's last-minute stunt, as he had to cross out and rewrite the names of all nine A's players on his lineup card.
Tom LaChapelle San Luis Obispo, Calif.
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SCRATCH 'N' PLAY
Martin's ploy had Howser making quick revisions.
WALTER IOOSS JR. (COVER)
COURTESY OF TOM LACHAPELLE