Strawberry and Gooden have had more opportunities than anyone can imagine. How many second chances do they deserve?
CHRIS BURCHETT, LOUISVILLE
Darryl and Dwight
I am appalled by your story reporting the allegations by Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden against their former New York Mets teammates and front office (The High Price of Hard Living, Feb. 27). Apparently Darryl and Dwight have to blame others for their downfall and cannot accept responsibility for their actions. As a member of the Mets during the '80s, I can honestly say that no one was more supported or was treated with greater concern and tolerance by management and teammates than those two. If Darryl and Dwight are, as your cover billing suggests, "The Dead End Kids," it is not the fault of the Mets. I believe psychiatrists refer to the excuses we read in this piece as "denial," and I find this disappointing, because Straw and Doc were my friends.
But even more disappointing is the fact that a magazine of your reputation would publish this article given the poor credibility of these two men. I, for one, was and still am proud to have been a member of the New York Mets organization.
KEITH HERNANDEZ, New York City
I am embarrassed to call myself a Met fan after reading about my former heroes, Dwight and Darryl. Who can I blame for the countless hours I spent rooting for these two careless individuals? I am outraged more by their lying than by their drug addiction. I also have a hard time understanding how the Mets didn't know about their drug abuse. The fans were led to believe that these two guys were role models. What a joke.
CHRIS SORGIE, Larchmont, N.Y.
I never thought of myself as naive until I read your story about Gooden and Strawberry. As if the baseball strike wasn't enough to break my heart, now I read that so many of my beloved 1986 Mets, whom I idolized as a 15-year-old, appear to be little more than a group of drunks and drug users. Now I don't care if the players ever come back.
EMILY EHRENSTEIN, Chicago
It was an emotional article for me. Strawberry and Gooden were guys I followed when I was growing up. The article also made me appreciate Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana and others who have handled their fame in sports so gracefully.
RYAN ARMBRUSTMACHER, Fowler, Mich.
After reading about Gooden and Strawberry and their self-induced problems for which I'm not the least bit sympathetic, what a difference to turn to The Last Lap (Feb. 27) and read about speed skater Bonnie Blair. Wow, she is the epitome of sport. Getting up every day and going to work—gee, what a novel concept! No wonder I watch college and amateur sports more and more.
JOHN FISHER, Denver
In her own quiet way Bonnie Blair has already begun to answer her mother's question: "I mean, what does she do for an encore?" Blair recently sent an unsolicited check for one third of her gold medal earnings from the Lillehammer Games to the global humanitarian organization Spirit of Hope, which was founded by Olympians. Her generous contribution will enable 1,000 kids from Sarajevo to participate in six sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, table tennis and team handball) this summer. It's clear that Bonnie Blair is also a gold medal citizen.
GREG LEWIS, Executive Director
Spirit of Hope
Detroit rookie forward Grant Hill asks for and receives permission to skip a practice so that he can appear on Late Show with David Letterman and at the ESPY awards show, perhaps giving the lowly Pistons some welcome positive exposure, and SI sees fit to criticize him (INSIDE THE NBA, Feb. 27). Your article on the NBA crybabies (Bad Actors, Jan. 30) was necessary, and I applaud it, but don't go overboard trying to make everyone in the NBA look like a bad guy.
MICHAEL FEILER, Upper Montclair, N.J.