Tim Layden emphasizes doping suspicions in his story about Usain Bolt. But Bolt's physical gifts and steady progression from 15-year-old world junior champion to 23-year-old world-record holder suggests that he may be a once-in-a-lifetime, Tiger Woods--type phenomenon.
Brad Kearns, Auburn, Calif.
Drug screening tests are still flawed. The odds that Usain Bolt (Bolt Strikes Twice, Aug. 31) is clean are 100-to-1 against.
H. John Gilbertson
Lake Forest, Ill.
Perhaps Bolt should be ordered to take a "species" test to prove he is really human.
Andy Hollander, Sturgis, S.D.
Thank you for the 100% FAVRE FREE ISSUE of Aug. 31. A lifelong Vikings fan, I am tired of hearing about Brett Favre and am extremely disappointed that he will be playing for Minnesota. Oh, well, I guess I can still cheer for Adrian Peterson!
Andrew Wolfson, Moore, Okla.
You'll run stories about players who end up in prison, abuse drugs or use banned substances. But the indecisive Favre takes another shot at playing, and you turn into pouting children.
Bill Syken's piece on the battle for the Vikings' backup quarterback job (SCORECARD, Aug. 31) was a work of brilliant satire. Without mentioning Favre's name he showed how overblown the whole circus has become.
Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb, Toronto
Tom Verducci talks about Giants pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (Who's Bringing the Fear This Fall, Aug. 31) as if they were the next Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. What about the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright? They have more wins and a better ERA than the San Francisco twosome, and trail them only in strikeouts. Give me Carpenter and Wainwright over anybody come fall.
Columbia City, Ore.
To a seven-year-old kid the Big Red Machine (Welcome to the Machine, Aug. 31) was not a baseball team, but a collection of superheroes, each wielding his own special superpower. The way I saw it, basketball had the Harlem Globetrotters, and baseball had the Cincinnati Reds.
Dan Orr, Gahanna, Ohio
Joe Posnanski argues that the 1975 Reds were the greatest collection of talent assembled under one dugout roof. While it's impressive that Cincinnati had a Hall of Fame manager and four Hall of Fame--caliber regulars, I would suggest that the 1932 Yankees were better. Those Yankees had a Hall of Fame manager (Joe McCarthy) and six Hall of Fame regulars (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Sewell). Furthermore, the Yankees had three Hall of Fame pitchers (Lefty Gomez, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing), while Cincinnati had none.
Daniel Russo, Amherst, N.Y.
The 1975 Reds won the World Series only because the A's, who had won the three previous titles, began losing players to free agency. I'd take those Oakland teams over Cincinnati's any day—in fact, those A's beat Bench, Rose & Co. in the '72 Series.
Like the 1975 Reds, the Orioles of 1969 to '71 also had a Hall of Fame manager (Earl Weaver) and three players who made it to Cooperstown (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer). The Reds may have had a slight edge on Baltimore in hitting, but the O's had far superior pitching and defense.
James Shell, Salem, Va.
The once proud Raiders organization has clearly suffered a fall from grace (SCORECARD, Aug. 31). But to suggest that we Oakland fans are actually celebrating this buffoonery is downright hurtful. We do not cheer because the Raiders lead the league in penalties. We do not revel in the fact that they have had five coaches since 2002. We are not proud to read about backroom brawls between coaches. But the Raiders are our team, and we continue to bleed Silver and Black—even when you rub salt in our wounds.
Scott Phillips, Toronto
I'm a 75-year-old who jogs three miles three times a week and plays golf twice a week. After reading Chris Ballard's astonishing story about 67-year-old Arthur Webb's running the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon (POINT AFTER, Aug. 31), I've come to realize something about myself. I'm a couch potato.
Larry Mills, Ventura, Calif.
I believe you have the wrong runner on your cover.
George Flavin, Katy, Texas
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