I recently had the pleasure of watching the Giants' Tim Lincecum hit a stand-up triple in a 6--3 loss to the Marlins. While stand-up triples are exciting and impressive enough when hit by an everyday player, they are even more noteworthy when hit by a guy like Lincecum, who is a pitcher. Thank God for the National League, where a feat like this is always possible.
Harry Freiberg, Brookings, Ore.
Begin at the Bottom
In your article about the designated hitter (In Praise [Ducking] of the DH), the text in one of the photo captions compares the home runs hit by DHs with the ones hit by NL pitchers batting ninth. The real comparison should be between the guys batting ninth in both leagues (which in the American League is rarely the DH). Many AL teams have two players who would struggle to even make an NL roster: a DH who is weak on defense and a strong defensive player who struggles at the plate about as much as a pitcher.
Brian Berkey, Elkton, Md.
Enough of this poor Phil Mickelson, woe is me nonsense (This One's Probably the Toughest for Me ...). Golf is a capricious game that Mickelson has always played aggressively. He has been a great player (four major titles) who doesn't need excuses. Therefore everyone needs to stop making them for him.
Rodney K. Boswell, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Alan Shipnuck's mention of great U.S. Open wins certainly should have included Ken Venturi's 1964 victory at Congressional Country Club in which he fought off heat, dehydration, exhaustion and a doctor's advice that he withdraw from the tournament.
John Michael Casteel, Traverse City, Mich.
Courage Under Fire
I want to thank Gary Smith for his beautifully written story about Frank Hall and the tragedy at Chardon (Ohio) High (Frank Hall, American Hero). Sadly, both the horror and the heroism of events like these fade as time passes, and they tend to get lumped into the "just another school shooting" category. While many of us may never have the courage to confront mortal danger the way Hall did, his story has inspired me to examine ways in which I can have a more positive influence on kids' lives each day.
Stan Thiemann, Lilburn, Ga.
There is no doubt that Hall displayed bravery in chasing an armed gunman out of his high school, thereby saving the lives of countless students and staff, but I also think he made another courageous decision in leaving Chardon, a place that he loves and that loves him, to help counsel and coach the kids at struggling Lakeside High, whose football coach quit because he thought they couldn't compete. Those are the acts of a true hero.
Robin Spiel, Parsippany, N.J.
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What do you think will be the most surprising NBA free-agent signing of the summer?
Max Tannenwald The Celtics signing Josh Smith. If Rajon Rondo is traded as expected, Boston will have gotten rid of all of its best players. Smith would excite Celtics fans, and that's something Boston desperately needs.
Johnny Lloyd J.R. Smith to the Jazz. Utah needs perimeter shooting and depth. The Sixth Man Award winner would help with both immediately.
Londin Nflrz I would be very surprised if the Celtics signed any veteran players. It just wouldn't make sense if they are trying to rebuild.
Ryan Macdonald How is Andrei Kirilenko not among the top 25 free agents? The guy can still play.
Pier Giuseppe Josh Smith re-signing with the Hawks after years of complaining and hoping for a trade out of Atlanta.
Paul Dailey I think the Kings are going to make a splash in free agency for the first time in years. It would be smart if they went after Andre Iguodala.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"SERIOUSLY, THE PIRATES BEING 20 GAMES OVER .500 IS EITHER EVIDENCE THAT GOD LOVES US, OR THAT THE END IS NIGH."
SCOTT PATERNO (@SCOTTPATERNO)
SIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)
FOR June 24, 2013
ERICK W. RASCO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SMITH)