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Paradise Regained

Kudos for your epic cover shot of Josh Hamilton, with the flames running up his arm and the stadium lights reflected on his helmet. And what could be more fitting for his story of temptation and redemption than a photo in which the only letters you can read on the back of his jersey are milton?
C.J. Renner, Minneapolis

I found it refreshing to read about a baseball player (The Super Natural, June 2) who is succeeding because he stopped using drugs, rather than because he started using them.
Jeff Appelgate, Prosser, Wash.

Hopefully players who have tarnished the integrity of the game will read this story and be inspired to follow Josh Hamilton's example and come clean.
Ryan Martin, Wabash, Ind.

Baseball should change the name of the Comeback Player of the Year Award to the Josh Hamilton Award.
Todd Kurpel, Media, Pa.

I hope that the fans who taunt Hamilton will take a cue from Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, who offered him congratulations for a hometown ovation on his return. That's what sports should be all about.
David J. DiLeo, White Plains, N.Y.

As a recovering alcoholic with 10 years of sobriety, I found Josh Hamilton's story inspiring. If Hamilton sticks to his recovery, there will come a day when he can go out and not be concerned with what other people are drinking. Life will be more than just "Home. Park. Home. Park."
Bob Walton, North Andover, Mass.

Josh, next time you're playing in Toronto, the steak and mineral water's on me.
Dale Thompson, Toronto

Charles in Charge

Charles Barkley is one of the few public figures, in sports or politics, who has owned up to his mistakes without excuses and endless denials (PLAYERS, June 2). He said years ago that he isn't a role model. I disagree.
Pete Zaremski, Mission Viejo, Calif.

As long as he's copping to things, Charles Barkley should admit that his "quitting reading because of reading that drinking is bad" quip came from Henny Youngman.
Edward Bolding, Tucson

Advanced Class

Your story on Mike Piazza's retirement, The Quiet Slugger Says Goodbye (PLAYERS, June 2), was understated. He wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Vivian Singh, Brooklyn

Trickle-Down Economics

I agree with Braylon Edwards that veterans should look at the big contracts given to rookies as motivation (PLAYERS, June 2). Instead of complaining that you're not getting paid enough, go out on the field and show why you should be getting paid more.
Tanner Gibson, Pickens, S.C.

Anger Management

I'm a huge Danica Patrick fan, but I'm getting tired of seeing her stomping off toward some guy as if she's going to kick his butt (All Eyes on Indy, June 2). I'm wondering what she thought she could do to Ryan Briscoe. Please, Danica, if you're going to kick his rear end, do it in a race.
Tim Lutterbeck, Celina, Ohio

Kobe Reconsidered

Thank you for a great profile on the best player in the NBA (Kobe's Killer Instinct, June 2). It's nice to see a story that puts a positive spin on Kobe Bryant's desire and intensity.
Luis Vega, Brooklyn

If all NBA players had the dedication and will that Kobe Bryant does, just think how much more fun basketball would be to watch.
Kevin Rector, DeMotte, Ind.

Kobe wants a championship for his team, but only if he is the best player. This is what makes Shaq a true champion—he was willing to show the Heat how to win a championship, and also willing to be the second-best player on the team.
Kerry Walsh, Clinton, Ind.

Bringing the Noise

I have been going to Celtics games since I moved to Boston seven years ago, and I agree with S.L. Price's observation (POINT AFTER, June 2) that today's basketball arenas don't allow for fans to spontaneously cheer for their teams; instead, we are led on a series of mind-numbing, neatly packaged cheers. But hockey is different. At the Bruins-Canadiens playoff series this year, each home game was a gleeful battle between fans from both teams to gain control of the arena with chants and cheers. No scripted prompts from the stadium speakers were needed.
Monica Vega, Revere, Mass.


Because of an editing error, the excerpt from David Maraniss's book Rome 1960 in the June 2 issue stated that athletes from Communist China participated in the 1960 Olympics. They did not. SI regrets the mistake.

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