What a greatcover shot of the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and the Miami Heat's GaryPayton (April 24). Kudos to photographer Bill Frakes for catching one of thebest "I own you and there's nothing you can do about it" moments I'veever seen. Bravo!
Jeffrey A. Carey, Rio Rancho, N.Mex.
Frakes's coverphotograph gives me an idea of how the gods look down on us mere mortals.
John Reggio, Old Bridge, N.J.
The rise ofLeBron to NBA greatness is eerily similar to Michael Jordan's early career. Andthe team that stands in the way of LeBron's winning a championship also wasJordan's biggest obstacle: the Detroit Pistons.
Ken Lemieux, Clarkston, Mich.
Your specialreport on steroids was fascinating (The Mexican Connection, April 24), and TheHuman Cost sidebar included shocking before and after pictures of amateurbodybuilder Brad Cunningham. It should be clipped by coaches and placed on thedoor to every high school, college and professional locker room. If that storyand graphic pictures don't wake up athletes to the evils of steroids, nothingwill.
Bob Frisk, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Ode to Joy
Leading Off(April 24) features what is one of the greatest sports photos of all time. Itshows a dozen St. Louis Cardinals players waiting to greet Albert Pujols as heheads to home plate after a walk-off home run. The unrestrained joy on thefaces of the players--particularly Yadier Molina, the Cardinals' youngcatcher--wipes away all thoughts of steroids, juicing and arbitration. Theseplayers, several of them multimillionaires, for one moment have returned totheir boyhood, when they played the game because it was fun.
Joe Marziotti, Sugar Land, Texas
In his column onthe Nets' Lawrence Frank, a less-than-great player who became an NBA coach,Steve Rushin profiled one of my biggest inspirations (Air and Space, April 24).I am a student-manager at Division III Brandeis and hope to start a career incoaching after my graduation next June. At age 11 my inability on thebasketball court was matched only by my love of the game, and I announced to myfriends that I would one day become an NBA coach. Frank and Jeff Van Gundy,among others, have inspired me to continue on the difficult road ahead.
Phil Keisman, Waltham, Mass.
It's no wonderthat mint juleps at this year's Kentucky Derby will cost as much as $1,000(Scorecard, April 24). The price of sugar from the "island of Mauritius inthe South Pacific" must be astronomical. Now, if you're getting your sugarfrom the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, it might be morereasonable.
Dan Sullivan, Alexandria, Va.
Inside Boxing(April 17) mentioned that now that Sergei Liakhovich is a heavyweight champion,there are two Russians with that title. Sergei, however, is from Belarus, anindependent former Soviet republic. The great people of Belarus are havingenough problems right now without SI merging them into Russia.
Scott Center, Savannah
It is with greatsadness that I read of the banning of the fumblerooski--a trick play in whichthe ball is snapped, then laid on the ground to be picked up by an offensivelineman--by the National Federation of State High School Associations(Scorecard, April 24). The fumblerooski, which I was twice allowed to run in mylast high school football game, allows the wide-bottomed and slow-footed, sooften overlooked, to finally reap some glory. If the association really wantsto "eliminate confusion in a ball game," it should also ban theno-huddle, the spread, the shotgun and any backfield consisting of more thanone running back, all of which are likely to cause confusion amongdefenders.
Trey Tyndall, Shreveport, La.
I wonder if RickReilly, in The Magical and Mysterious Oz (Life of Reilly, April 24), wastalking about the same Ozzie Guillen I saw interviewed, along with severalother White Sox, on The Oprah Winfrey Show several months ago. On that showGuillen spoke with a distinct accent but was easily understood; he soundednothing like the man in Reilly's column. Maybe Guillen has a ballpark accentthat he uses to confuse interviewers.
Elmer R. Umbenhauer
Cape May Court House, N.J.
I love the Lifeof Reilly, but I want to remind Rick of what Guillen, Rick's "favoriteperson in baseball," said on June 17, 2005. Speaking of insinuations byWhite Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle that a Cubs pitcher throws a spitball, Guillensaid, "If you don't get caught, you're a smart player or pitcher. If youget caught you're cheating.... Just don't get caught." As for his pitchers,Guillen said, "As long as they win games, I hope they cheat." These arenot words that were misunderstood because of Ozzie's English.
Robert Harris, Deerfield, Ill.
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