Game 7 of the World Series, bottom of the ninth, home team down by a run with the bases loaded, two outs and a full count. The batter swings and misses on a fastball in the dirt. Strike three! World Series over, right? Not so fast! The home team challenges, claiming it was a checked swing. After a lengthy review, the call is reversed and a run walks in. Welcome to the future of baseball.
Laurence E. Siegel, Manteno, Ill.
There is one aspect of the new replay system (SCORECARD) that Joe Sheehan's article overlooked: the intentional use of challenges to disrupt the flow of the game. On April 11, with the Rays up 2--0 on the Reds in the bottom of the ninth, Tampa Bay's David Price was three outs from a shutout when Cincinnati batter Brandon Phillips acted as if he had been hit by a pitch, even though it was an obvious ball. The Reds challenged the call. Although the review showed that the ball was at least six inches from Phillips's foot, the on-field delay to review the play appeared to disrupt Price's rhythm. He struck out Phillips but then gave up a solo home run to the next batter and was subsequently pulled. Price's rueful smile as he left the mound said it all.
William E. Sturdevant Port Charlotte, Fla.
Money Well Spent
Thank you for your story on Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson's gift to his alma mater (SCORECARD). This is not the only example of his generosity. His charity, The Grand Kids Foundation, has donated more than $100,000 in grants, funding and supplies to public schools, youth programs and athletic programs throughout Detroit (where he previously played) and New York City.
Richard Nowak, Cumming, Ga.
You forgot to acknowledge Penny Hardaway's grand gesture on behalf of his alma mater, Memphis. In 2008 he donated $1 million to the Tigers' athletic department to help fund the university's athletic hall of fame.
Russ Brasfield, Memphis
Models of Restraint
Your article on the Ferrell brothers was heartbreaking. The fact that the police handcuffed Jonathan after he was riddled with 10 bullets is appalling. Still, I admire the Ferrell family for handling this awful tragedy with incredible dignity and restraint.
Don Powers, Colorado Springs
While everyone was raving about one-and-dones, Shabazz Napier used his four years of experience at Connecticut to help the Huskies win two national titles and earn a degree in sociology.
John Pappanikou Boca Raton, Fla.
In the Final Floor photo in the April 14 LEADING OFF section, the caption misidentified UConn center Kiah Stokes as Huskies guard Bria Hartley. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED regrets the error.
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Should the NBA increase its minimum draft age of 19?
David Wilcox Jr. Yes. Not only will it create a better product in both the NBA and the NCAA, but it would also allow kids time to mature.
Tom Daly No. Athletes should be able to go pro anytime a team is willing to draft them.
Brandon Ferman They should just eliminate the age restriction.
Gerald McKinley I think they need to do it the way MLB does it. Either allow kids to go pro straight out of high school or make them stay in college for three years, unless they attend a juco.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
The positive side to Nadal & Ferrer's [clay-court] match is that you can watch an entire episode of Scandal yet the score is only 3--3.
MORRY GASH/AP (UMPIRES)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)
FOR APRIL 14, 2014
FRED VUICH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PARKER)