It's amazing how agent Scott Boras has a once-every-50-years client in the draft ... every year. If players such as Bryce Harper (Wave of the Future, June 7) are really that good, they don't need an eight-figure contract coming out of the draft. The money will be there once they've accomplished something.
Eric Petrusic, Orlando
What an appropriate headline for Joe Posnanski's feature on Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg (What Took You So Long?, June 7). I'm sure another talented young pitcher from the San Diego area is asking the same question. While Strasburg was warming up in the minors, Reds rookie Mike Leake jumped straight from a stellar college career at Arizona State to a major league mound without even seeing the inside of a minor league ballpark. He is 5--1 and has been instrumental in Cincinnati's surprising success. I hope at some point this season Strasburg and Leake will meet, and Leake will say, "Welcome to the majors. Glad you finally made it!"
As I read Mark Hyman's article on sports surgeon James Andrews (SCORECARD, June 7) and the epidemic of overuse injuries, I couldn't help but think about the SI stories on Bryce Harper and Jason Heyward (Legend Before His Time, April 19), which focus on young athletes specializing in one sport. I realize SI is not responsible for the change in our youth sports culture, but more articles such as Hyman's—which shows the risks of sports specialization—instead of articles highlighting the rare success stories of specialists might make parents think twice.
Tom Price, Mequon, Wis.
This article should be posted on the refrigerator of every overzealous parent who wants to make his or her child into a professional athlete. True phenoms will get their shots, whether or not they are on elite traveling Little League teams.
David A. Petreman
I am a rising college junior who wants to enter the field of sports medicine, and I can't express how inspired I am by the efforts of Dr. Andrews and his colleagues. They seek to protect children from the coaches and parents who are supposed to be encouraging them to have fun with the game of their choice, not teaching them how to throw a curveball at age 11.
Jeremy Lamb, Cincinnati
I really enjoyed Joe Posnanski's article about Landon Donovan (Good Isn't Good Enough, June 7). Donovan has stood out to me as a different type of player ever since his early days with the San Jose Earthquakes. I first saw him play when I was five or six. I bleached my hair, I bought his jersey, I wore the number 10 and I even took off my shirt when I scored in my youth league. Now I'm 14, and Donovan has inspired me to always improve my game, even when I think it can't be improved.
Matt Whittock, Lodi, Calif.
For years SI has given its readers the choice to opt out of receiving the Swimsuit Issue. Could you please do the same for any future World Cup or soccer issues?
Jeff Sponsler, Littleton, Colo.
Thrown for a Loop
I thought I was the only catcher to experience the yips throwing the ball back to the pitcher until I read Phil Taylor's column on Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Rangers (POINT AFTER, June 7). One time I threw so badly that the ball bounced in front of the pitcher and knocked the bill of his cap straight up, much to the laughter of the infield. I was especially wild when runners were on base, particularly third. Although nobody ever scored on one of my bad throws, I never did get over the yips. Thank you, Phil, for alleviating the pain and embarrassment I've lived with all these years.
Daniel S. Brandenburg
My heart goes out to Saltalamacchia. I'm sure many people with good intentions have ideas on how to fix his problem, but Saltalamacchia has to figure it out for himself. In my case I could throw lasers to all the bases—but not back to the pitcher. I relished when there were men on base because it meant I had a good excuse to throw ahead of or behind a runner. Salty will sort it out and he'll be back with the big club before long. I know I will be rooting for him!
John Nicodemo, Bethlehem, Pa.
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SIMON BRUTY (COVER)