FOR OCT. 12, 2015
I thought it was great how honest Greg Bedard was with his take on Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman. While many writers just say good things, Bedard listed ways Oakman can become a better player.
Russell Finelsen, Fairfax, Va.
Oakman, obviously a physically blessed individual who may or may not be maximizing his potential, is still just a kid. He doesn't deserve to be downgraded in a national magazine. Enlighten us with stories of players exceeding their potential.
Curt Andrews, Tulsa
I was Mike Epstein's fraternity brother at Cal in the early 1960s. And I remember that on the wall of his room he hung a very large picture of Ted Williams, in full swing. Mike had added arrows pointing out key body positions in Williams's perfect swing, and Mike would carefully demonstrate how important these details were. I tried unsuccessfully to master his recommendations. Mike, on the other hand, learned the lessons well.
James Waldman, Portland
Despite being a Gentile, I hope David Simon's wonderfully amusing journey of repentance finds an end to the 40-plus years of wandering in the wilderness, and leads him and the Nationals to the Promised Land of championship trophies and rings.
Dallas Johnson, Kulm, N.D.
The only thing I can add to Tom Verducci's thoroughly researched story on Jays manager John Gibbons is that his baseball career actually started in Canada, in 1970, when his father and I were stationed in Labrador. Even at age eight, John wanted to be a catcher.
Call it sour grapes if you want, but for $303,030 per game pitched this season, Max Scherzer should have thrown a no-hitter every time he took the mound.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I share Michael Rosenberg's disgust at the decline of college football rivalries, but that is irrelevant to the problem of MLB's playoff structure. Seed teams based on records rather than reward those in a weak division.
Rapid City, S.D.
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DARREN CARROLL FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (OAKMAN)
BEN VAN HOOK FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (SCHERZER)
CARLOS M. SAAVEDRA FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ROSENBERG)