It is a tad early to ticket Stephen Strasburg for the Hall of Fame or even to say he's a favorite for the Rookie of the Year or Cy Young award. I remember Dwight Gooden's early years—especially 1985, when he outdueled John Tudor for the Cy Young—and those of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. It will be interesting to see how Strasburg does against better offensive teams when he faces them for the second time.
C. John Turnquist, Magnolia, Texas
Albert Chen did a great job of conveying the excitement when Stephen Strasburg pitches (National Treasure, June 21), but as a spectator at his first two home starts, I can honestly say no article could do it justice. The first game was as exciting as any I've attended—a no-hitter and World Series games included. At the second game, Strasburgmania almost had me rooting against my beloved White Sox. Instead I got what I wanted: another performance that lived up to the hype and a Sox victory that didn't blemish Strasburg's record.
Chuck Hadden, Arlington, Va.
While I appreciate Strasburg's phenomenal start, are his accomplishments in two games really worthy of the national cover in a week when the Blackhawks ended a 49-year Stanley Cup drought (Second City Revival, June 21)? If this kid is as good as advertised, then he will have many other cover opportunities in his career.
Cooper Laiden Los Angeles
I don't know what's more shocking: that hockey was on the June 21 regional cover or that Jonathan Toews (a.k.a. Captain Serious) is showing emotion in the cover shot.
Gregory Lill, Lockport, Ill.
You could not have picked a finer Blackhawks fan to write about than 83-year-old season-ticket holder Abe Matthew. I met Abe and his wife, Nettie, in the early 1980s at the synagogue in Lincolnwood, Ill., where my late grandfather was the rabbi. They are the nicest, most generous people you will ever meet. Thank you for Michael Farber's article about a championship team and some champion people.
Sam Drebin, Los Angeles
Trouble at USC
The don't-ask, don't-tell atmosphere that Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett, former football coach Pete Carroll and others were allowed to cultivate at Southern Cal is unacceptable (SCORECARD, June 21). Penalties for this type of behavior should punish the principals, not the future athletes and students. Garrett and whomever he reports to should have already been fired. He, Carroll, Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo should be sued for damages.
Bob Jolly, Stafford, Texas
I find it ironic that while athletic directors try to align themselves with who's giving them the most money, the college athlete is the one getting punished. Isn't it time to see college football for what it is: a multimillion-dollar business with indentured servants as employees?
Hugo Aguilar, Dallas
The BCS officials have refused to come up with a playoff system for college football because, they say, they don't want to destroy bowl-game traditions. Now, with teams moving to different conferences, many traditional rivalries, such as Nebraska-Oklahoma, will be lost. The NCAA has let tradition fall by the wayside. The bowls are obsolete. It's time for a college football playoff.
Bob Nelson, Bismarck, N.D.
Shedding Some Light
Thank you for Pablo S. Torre's article about depression among baseball players (A Light in the Darkness, June 21), including pitcher Ian Snell. I have followed his career and his difficulties. Depression is rough, especially for those in the public eye who feel they must hide their feelings.
Griffin DuBreuil, Dover, Del.
I am a high school athlete currently going through treatment for clinical depression. This article describes the obstacles that we go through and how tough it is, and I'm relieved to know that there are others like me. It is great to see that management in Seattle is taking these conditions seriously and is helping players.
Zach Thole, St. Cloud, Minn.
The article takes professional athletes off their pedestals and portrays them for who they truly are: human. Snell and Zack Greinke deserve more respect than the players who just hit home runs or strike out batters.
Matt Mramer Highland Heights, Ohio
As a Seattle native and sports fan, we rarely have much to cheer about. Our NBA team is gone, the Seahawks have had nine wins in the last two years, and the Mariners are once again a flop. It was with great pride, however, that I read about the character of the Mariners' management in its handling of the mental-health problems that affect so many players. For that, we can be proud.
Kathy Connors, Medina, Wash.
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