Your story in which Albert Pujols tells people to believe in him is like an ice pack for baseball's black eye. My son has two jerseys hanging in his room, Tyler Hansbrough's and Albert Pujols's. Your story assured me that the Cardinals' number 5 jersey will continue to hang there for a long time.
Chris Webb, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
As baseball's steroid users are picked off one by one, Albert Pujols (The Power to Believe, March 16) gives young players a true role model. He is what every player wants to be: humble, strong, consistent and, most importantly, clean. His stepping up and making the statement he did is a breath of fresh air.
Gus Cantwell, North Kingstown, R.I.
I'm sorry, but at this point the only time I'll believe what a baseball player says is when he admits he is taking steroids.
George W. Harris, Agoura Hills, Calif.
As a youngster growing up in St. Louis, baseball was everything. Stan Musial remains my alltime hero, but I have allocated a portion of my worship to El Hombre. I heard his message.
Edwin M. Johnston Jr., Buffalo
The great Roberto Clemente is smiling upon you, Albert; the torch has been passed.
Ruben Arzuaga, San Antonio
You had me at the part in the story where Pujols married a woman with a baby who has Down syndrome.
Margot Marsh, Tacoma, Wash.
Pujols should ask Lance Armstrong for advice about how to withstand the cynicism we fans have for athletes who consistently perform at otherworldly levels.
Carol Welsh, Sterling, Va.
Swinging at Barkley
Your story about Charles Barkley and his golf swing (The End of Golf As We Know It, March 16) glossed over the fact that "Sir Charles" was convicted of the potentially deadly crime of drunken driving. Will he have to actually kill someone before SPORTS ILLUSTRATED realizes he's just a degenerate who doesn't care about the consequences of his actions?
Kevin Lynch, Ossining, N.Y.
After I examined your photos of Barkley's golf swing, I saw almost immediately what his problem is: He needs glasses! In the photo sequence you can see that on his downswing the club stays in the same position for at least three frames as he stops his swing and tries to locate the ball.
Bill Klemme, Alton Bay, N.H.
In New Jersey we have high property taxes, high car insurance rates and more than our share of corrupt politicians. But we do have something to be proud of—the Devils' Martin Brodeur (The Goalie Who Doesn't Flinch, March 16). He's unquestionably the greatest goaltender ever to play in the NHL.
Joseph Evans, Roselle Park, N.J.
I am a 13-year-old who is disappointed that you consider a high school's banning negative chants at basketball games to be a SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE (PLAYERS, March 16). If only all high schools would adopt policies like this one has.
Kyra Palange, Derby, Conn.
Phil Taylor argues for Ethical Treatment for a Quarterback (POINT AFTER, March 16) in discussing Michael Vick's possible return to the NFL. How about ethical treatment for a sports fan? How much punishment do we have to bear as athletes destroy the very games that have treated them so well? Taylor makes a good point about giving people a chance to pay their dues, so how about this: Vick agrees to donate 50% of any future NFL salary to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the team that signs him matches it. That's redemption I could get behind.
Mike Woodstock, Greensboro, N.C.
Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. To reinstate Vick sends a horrible message.
Steven Wallace, Glendale, Utah
After reading Selena Roberts's column on Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, the Massachusetts high school star who dresses for basketball in accordance with Muslim law (POINT AFTER, March 9), I have one request: a picture, please.
Fritz Frommeyer, Indianapolis
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NEXT STOP Abdul-Qaadir, a point guard, has signed with Memphis.