I commend Steve Wulf for his excellent plan to revive baseball (A Blueprint for Baseball, April 6). I have been a fan since I was a kid, and I, too, see baseball running itself into oblivion.
Wulf's common-sense ideas for giving the game a shot in the arm are the best I have ever heard. Everyone associated with baseball should seriously consider his blueprint.
If I may dare to tamper with tradition, I propose a revamped playoff system patterned after those in the NBA and the NFL. As the baseball season winds down in late summer, most teams and their fans begin thinking of next year, because most teams are out of playoff contention. Often the four teams remaining atop the standings are not the best teams in baseball at that time. Because of injuries or young talent that has struggled through much of the season, many good teams don't qualify for postseason play. A longer playoff format would add excitement and generate more revenue.
I can't believe that in his article Who's on Third? (April 6), Tim Kurkjian made no mention of the finest defensive third baseman of all time, Billy Cox, who played for the great Brooklyn Dodger teams of the late 1940s and early '50s. In the Aug. 6, 1990, issue of The Sporting News, Tommy Lasorda said, " Billy Cox was better than Brooks Robinson at third base, and when [the Dodgers] needed a big hit, they'd rather have him up there than anybody else." The last part of that statement is especially impressive, considering Brooklyn's lineup, which included Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Carl furillo, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges.
The Tyson Case
The SCORECARD item "Behind Bars" (April 6) misrepresents the oral argument that I presented on behalf of the State of Indiana opposing a petition for bail in the matter of State v. Tyson. The transcript of the arguments before the court shows what I said and the context in which my statements were made. SI reported that I said things that I did not say. In addition, it drew upon this misrepresentation to incorrectly show that I did not know facts of the case and to report that our office was allegedly "struggling." If you wish to be critical of things we do or say, that is your prerogative. However, when you incorrectly attribute statements to me and publish them in quotation marks for a national audience, then the record must be corrected.
DAVID J. DREYER
Marion County Prosecutor's Office
? SI stands by the substance of its report.—ED.
Plumping for Stumpy
I recently read Tim Kurkjian's article A Manager's Survival Guide (SI, April 6) and noted that the first of his dozen suggestions for helping a major league manager keep his job is to "get a nickname." Kurkjian goes on to say, though: "The nickname rule, however, is not guaranteed for new Yankee manager Buck Showalter. The recent line of succession has seen Bucky Dent fired and replaced by Stump Merrill, who was fired and replaced by Showalter. But considering the natural progression—Bucky to Stump to Buck—if your nickname is Stumpy, you should most definitely apply for this job."
Well, we at the Philadelphia Eagles will be sorry to lose him, but we don't want to stand in the way of natural progression, so here's the next manager of the New York Yankees: Joe (Stumpy) Collova. Year in and year out, head coach after head coach, people ask, "Who's that little guy next to the coach?" The 5'2" Stumpy has been a fixture on the Eagle sideline for nearly 30 years, carrying the cord to the head coach's headset. The 71-year-old Stumpy also runs the dry-cleaning shop that cleans the team's uniforms.
We feel that the dugout will be a good safe place for him, too. You see, in a 1986 game against the Cowboys in Dallas, Stumpy got trampled by Cowboy running back Timmy Newsome as Newsome was run out of bounds. Newsome weathered the collision and returned to action. Stumpy, however, returned to Philadelphia on crutches, with a broken leg.
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