Gary Smith brings us back to the basics, the purpose of sport. Bridging diversity, living for giving. All gaps can be overcome through a simple common goal, all differences can be bridged by an act of selflessness. Every so often in our convoluted lives, an innocent like Gift Ngoepe (right) puts everything in perspective.
Edward Marriott, Madeira Beach, Fla.
David Ortiz was my favorite baseball player until the news broke of his 2003 positive drug test. Fortunately, your story about Ortiz came in the same issue with your article on Gift Ngoepe (A Gift from Africa, Aug. 10). He is my new favorite.
Scott Westby, Sheyenne, N.D.
Detroit Knows Pressure
Thank you for not mentioning my beloved Lions in your story on NFL teams under scrutiny as training camps opened (Already Feeling the Heat, Aug. 10). The team is under pressure to get its first win since we-don't-remember-when, but the way things are going in Detroit these days, winning a football game doesn't compare to the pressure to improve the auto industry, schools and city government.
Craig Dahlke, Port Huron, Mich.
Joe Posnanski's essay about David Ortiz's positive test (SCORECARD, Aug. 10) was spot on, except for his closing line, "We know it's so." Maybe I'm naive or just stupid, but I don't know it's so. Big Papi's press conference on Aug. 8 (in which he blamed supplements and vitamins for his test result) allowed me to think that my gut feeling just might be right!
Kate Doherty, South Berwick, Maine
While the other big names associated with performance-enhancing drugs were top players before they started using, Ortiz's positive test came after he was released by the Twins. We cannot help but understand his intentions. Like many Americans, he needed to do something to keep his job.
Brandon Kamerman, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Still the One
Joe Sheehan writes that even after Philadelphia acquired 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, the Dodgers are the team to beat in the National League (INSIDE BASEBALL, Aug. 10). How can that be? The Phillies are the defending World Series champions, and last year they beat the Dodgers 4--1 in the NLCS. As pro wrestler Ric Flair used to say, "To be the man, you have to beat the man." Wooooo!
William Adlin, Conshohocken, Pa.
Bravo, Chris Ballard (POINT AFTER, Aug. 10). I am no Barry Bonds apologist, but he was far from the only one using steroids. Maybe if he were a nicer, more cuddly guy he would still be playing.
Matt Trulio, Redwood City, Calif.
Ballard tried to justify Bonds's misdeeds by pointing to what other ballplayers have done. But bad behavior never justifies other bad behavior. Lock those Hall doors.
Pete Becker, Dumont, N.J.
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