If my inabilityto find the Aug. 7 issue at Twin Cities newsstands is any indication, Joe Mauerhas arrived (The Perfect Catch). Batting titles aside, he is destined forsuccess as long as his health is good and fame doesn't go to his head. TheTwins should secure him with a long-term contract and reserve space for astatue at the new stadium slated to open in 2010.
Brent Brommer, Woodbury, Minn.
Not only is Mauersetting new standards of play for major league catchers, he is creating a newstandard of conduct for all professional athletes. It is refreshing to see aplayer who, despite his enormous success, has not lost his pure passion for thegame of baseball.
Zach Schneider, Duluth
Don't forget whatSparky Anderson said at the end of the 1976 World Series: "I don't want toembarrass any other catcher by comparing him to Johnny Bench."
Ed Meier, Mason, Ohio
As a scientistand a sports fan, I believe the current doping scandals compromise science asmuch as sports (Scorecard, Aug. 7). The tests are performed by entitiesmotivated by and funded to achieve the goal of detecting cheaters; theirobjectivity is suspect. Also, it is a scientific fact that there will bepositive tests even when there are no cheaters. From my perspective, the puzzleis not the occasional positive test, but why there aren't a great many more.The system is broken, and I fear it is not always due to cheating athletes.
Brandon Gaut, Irvine, Calif.
You may criticizewhat is going on in cycling, but if we applied cycling's drug rules to Americansports, entire teams' worth of players would be banned. At least cyclingdoesn't stick its head in the sand.
Von Campbell, Colorado Springs
Thank you for theexcerpt about Johnny Unitas (The Unitas Factor, Aug. 7). He was a truequarterback, studying the defense and calling the plays. Most quarterbackssince Unitas have merely been throwers, not field generals. If he playedtoday--with the rules that protect the quarterback and the receivers--I canonly imagine what he and Raymond Berry might accomplish. It wouldn't be fair tothe defenses.
Cliff Kroski, Kansas City, Mo.
The wonderfulbook excerpt brought back so many great memories for a guy raised in Baltimorein the 1960s. Our heroes were Unitas, Berry, Gino Marchetti, Lenny Moore andthe rest of those guys--all of whom were part of the community in a way that isprobably lost forever.
L.G. Connor, Ellicott City, Md.
Who's Hot? UCLA(Players, Aug. 7), but SI forgot to mention the Phillies' Chase Utley, whoattended the school from 1998 to 2000. He is hitting .321 as of Aug. 19 andrecently had a 35-game hitting streak.
Manuel Vargas, Phoenix
The Full View
Steve Rushin tolda great tale about Max McLeary, the one-eyed umpire (Air and Space, Aug. 7),but he had no quotes from Max's son Marty, the minor league pitcher that hementions. If Rushin had asked him what it was like having a dad with one eyeand being part of "another remarkable chapter in baseball's father-sonhistory," Marty's response might have been, "Who's Max McLeary?"Max left his wife, Barb, and their two sons, Marty and Matt, when the boys wereone and four, respectively. It wasn't until Marty's sophomore year in collegethat Max again met his younger son--and it was too little too late for Marty'staste. Barb, the suddenly single mother, did a terrific job raising two boys onher own. This was actually another remarkable chapter in baseball's mother-sonhistory.
C.J. Nitkowski, Houston
Editor's Note:Currently a teammate of Marty McLeary with the Indianapolis Indians, theTriple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Nitkowski pitched for eight teamsin a 10-year major league career.
Do you know howawesome it was to see an article about Laird Hamilton (The Jaws Paradigm, Aug.7)? Susan Casey's description of the very dangerous day of Dec. 15, 2004, wason the money. I hope all of the kooks out there who think they can handle thenastiest waves in the world will stay home next time. Respect the ocean,respect the dedicated professionals, and respect those of us who surf for theescape and freedom that surfing brings us.
Randall Bell, Lahaina, Hawaii
A big mahalo toThe Jaws Paradigm, a refreshing and informative look into the beautiful andgraceful yet physically taxing sport of surfing. I especially applaud Ms.Casey's use of the sport's proper language. Our terms--such as on the shoulder,over the falls, spitting barrels, Kona or trade winds and impact zone--maysound bizarre to the common sports enthusiast, but they are simply a way ofdescribing surfing conditions. If you don't know what those words mean, thenyou should not be out there in the giant waves.
Tyler Zerwekh, Lihue, Hawaii
I want to beLaird Hamilton in the next life. Thanks for bringing me as close as I'm likelyto get in this one.
Chris Orrock, Salt Lake City
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