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Original Issue


I can't agree with your comparison of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. As my favorite band, the Beatles, said, "Money can't buy me love"—but wow, did these Yankees ever buy themselves the best baseball team.

Angela Cordisco, Moorestown, N.J.

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I took your great photo of Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee in action (Postseason on the Brink, Nov. 9) and stapled it to the wall. I'm 44 years old. Thanks for making me remember what it's like to be 12.

Matt Georgi, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Here's how you solve the Yankees problem (World Domination, Nov. 16): Put another franchise in New York. The value of the Yankees' advertising, TV and radio deals will immediately decline and the worth of the franchise will drop. There will be no more $200 million--plus payrolls, because the team won't have that obscene amount of money available.

Mark Liptak, Chubbuck, Idaho

From Iowa with Love

I understand some of the griping around the nation because Iowa (Good and Lucky, Nov. 9), though highly ranked after starting 9--0, wasn't winning every game by 40. But the way they have won is more enjoyable for the fans. Each game has been like a James Bond film with a last-second flash of brilliance that saved the day.

Scott Snyder, Des Moines

You have to love a coach as down-home as Iowa's Kirk Ferentz. And what could be more fortuitous than a bunch of football recruits who were scorned by elite programs but are doing things the old-fashioned way, working hard and playing as a team?

Gary (Starsky) Hagan

Des Moines

You call Bob Stoops Iowa's "first choice" as a coaching hire in 1998, but to be clear, he was never actually offered the job—one of the real tragedies in the history of Iowa sports. Bob played for Hayden Fry at Iowa and was on his staff; his brothers Mike and Mark also played for Fry. Their father, Ron, was buried in a Hawkeyes T-shirt. Bob waited for Hayden (his friend and mentor) to retire and was interviewed for the job. Even though Stoops was an alum and one of the hottest coordinators in the country while at Florida, school officials told him that they had to interview another candidate. Stoops walked straight out of the meeting and accepted the Oklahoma job that night.

Tom C. Johnson, San Francisco

Paper Chase?

Jimmie Johnson's winning a fourth straight NASCAR championship (What's with You, Man? Nov. 9) demonstrates how much of a joke the Chase format is. The only season he won the title when he had the best car all year was 2006. If not for the Chase format, Jeff Gordon would have beaten Johnson by almost 400 points in 2007, when Gordon set a record for top 10 finishes, with 30. Over the last two years Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart were the best drivers, respectively. I will give Johnson one thing: He is the greatest Chase driver of all time. If that means anything.

Joe Kuhner, Rochester, N.Y.

Coach Speak

I coach youth football, and we recently completed our season. At the start of it the players were unsure of themselves, looking to be part of something larger, trying to figure out how they'd fit into the team. Still, they were determined to prove they could play in a bigger weight class. While we did not win a game, the players grew on the field and as young men. My thanks to Phil Taylor's Confessions of a Coachaholic (POINT AFTER, Nov. 9) for telling people what coaching youth sports is really all about.

Peter Lucas, Highland Park, Ill.

I coached my three sons in everything that they were involved in. Now that they are grown, I truly miss those days, and I look forward to the time when I can coach my grandchildren. When I meet some of my former players and they greet me as Coach, it makes my day—no matter how tough of a day it has been.

Jerry Bober, Weymouth, Mass.

When I coached, I always told my soccer teams that whether we go undefeated or winless, we're going to have a party at season's end. One of my favorite memories is of an eight-year-old asking me, "Who won?" after she had played defense in an 8--0 loss. As Mr. Taylor put it, "That's the kind of thing that stays with me."

Jeff Covel, Arlington, Va.

To all budding coaches, I suggest you ask yourselves this question: If you run into a child and her parents a year after you coach her, will they be glad to see you, or will they avoid you?

Rick Engel, West Windsor, N.J.

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