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FOR MARCH 27--APRIL 3, 2017

As great as Mike Trout's first five years have been (The New Testament), have you forgotten Joe DiMaggio? In his first five seasons Joltin' Joe outdid Trout in runs (by 136), RBIs (294), home runs (29) and hits (226). He had a better batting average, OBP and slugging percentage. I realize it is not always fair to compare players from different eras, but I would take DiMaggio.

Larry Burton, Rockford, Ill.

Brian Cashman seems to use some revisionist history in talking about Trout. The Yankees' GM says he wanted to draft the slugger with the 29th pick, but the Angels took him at 25. The 25th pick, however, originally belonged to New York, given to the Angels as compensation for signing Mark Teixeira earlier that off-season.

Matt Bartel, Dudley, Mass.

If you are going to criticize Team Israel for having Jewish Americans on their World Baseball Classic roster (SCORECARD), then you need to apply the same standards to Italy, which had many Italian Americans, and the team from the Netherlands, whose key players were Dutch-Carribbean. I would venture to say the Italian and Dutch cabinet ministers would have difficulty identifying their baseball players too. Your poor attempt at humor did not do justice to a great tournament.

Sam Broh, Chesterfield, Mo.

I find it hard to pick any player over Joey Votto for MVP every year (The Reds' Big Machine). I'm coming to terms with the fact that he may never win another, as there are always great players with captivating stories on teams that actually make the playoffs (or at least are in contention). But I've never been able to comprehend why Votto doesn't get more coverage. So thank you for highlighting him.

Gil Rutledge, Cincinnati

COVER

In his analytical review of Kris Bryant's swing (Born to Win), Tom Verducci writes of Bryant's 18° "attack angle," his 25° "vertical bat angle" and how he tries to hit the bottom third of the ball. All this preparation in the split second before making contact with a tiny spheroid hurtling through space at 98 mph? I thought of Yogi Berra, who once said, "How can you think and hit at the same time?"

Bill Schaefer

Springfield, N.J.

PAGE 74

I'm glad you dumped the projected stats in your scouting reports in favor of last season's actual numbers. But why list the "old-fashioned" batting average and not include home runs and RBIs?

Jim Blanchard

Los Angeles

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