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Michael Rosenberg's story on Paralympic rowers Rob Jones and Oksana Masters was one of the most moving I have ever read. After the horrific treatment Masters received in an orphanage in Ukraine, the fact that she is alive and can function normally is impressive enough—that she is excelling in her sport is absolutely remarkable. I am humbled by them both.

Scott Ross, Wexford, Pa.

Ongoing Struggles

As a bilateral above-the-knee amputee for 18 years, I recognized myself in the struggles and triumphs of Jones and Masters (The Marine and the Orphan). I took exception, however, to the use of the term phantom pain in your story on these great Paralympians. Phantom pain is a very real physical sensation, often debilitating and searing in its intensity. To diminish its existence by using it as a metaphor does a disservice to amputees who strive daily to overcome their disability.

Patty Kolb, Carlsbad, Calif.

Blast from the Past

The haunting cover shot of Mike Trout conjures up the robust menace of Hack Wilson and the serene intensity of Mel Ott. Trout's sinewy, gloveless hands are reminiscent of Honus Wagner and his jawline of Ty Cobb. THE SUPERNATURAL? A better billing would have been The Throwback.

Jeffrey K. Tesch, Wyoming, Ohio

New Day in State College

As a proud Penn State graduate who has dedicated three decades to the diplomatic work of the State Department, I found the title of your article on Penn State (Present at the Re-creation)—which harkens back to the title of Secretary of State Dean Acheson's Pulitzer Prize--winning memoir—to be personally and powerfully prophetic. Indeed, another of Acheson's astute formulations seems relevant to the Nittany Lions: "If we learn the art of yielding what must be yielded to the changing present, we can save the best of the past."

Dan Sheerin, College Park, Md.

The Other Decision

I want to thank Phil Taylor for clearly highlighting the absurdity of the Nationals' decision to limit the number of innings Stephen Strasburg pitches (POINT AFTER), and for outlining the alternative choices Washington could have made to preserve Strasburg's arm. If the Nats fail to reach the World Series, their decision on Strasburg will be debated from here to infinity.

Russ Haasch, Aurora, Ill.




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AUG. 27


"@PastorYPJ: Michigan looked like they were ranked No. 5 ... in Pop Warner. Yikes! I've seen better blocking on Twitter!"



Maurice Jones-Drew reported to Jaguars practice after a 38-day holdout, but without a new contract. Do you think the reigning rushing champ is the best back in the AFC, and is he deserving of a restructured deal?

Neal Elden: I think Arian Foster and Ray Rice are better. MJD's effort may qualify as the dumbest because the holdout got him nothing. Or maybe he just didn't want to play in the preseason.

Jerry Long: Not by a long shot. He's maybe the third- or fourth-best overall in the AFC.

Mark Roehl: I don't know about being the best, but he's certainly the most rested.

Summer Fall: He's definitely one of the best in his division, but not the entire conference. My question is, Will missing the preseason have an impact on MJD's performance during the regular season? Keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't.

David Nastali: Not in that weak Jaguars offense. Besides, I see an injury in his future.

Rene Martinez: The best? Try the greediest. He is going to make $4.45 million this year and $4.95 million next year. He ended the holdout because he wanted to play this year. So what was the point?



FOR Aug. 27, 2012