One of the basic ideas of baseball is that of the complete athlete—one who must play both offense and defense.
J.D. NELSON, NEW YORK CITY
Your call to make the designated hitter rule universal in the major leagues left me stunned (SCORECARD, Jan. 29). For two decades I have been waiting for the American League to come to its senses and realize that the DH has diminished the need for strategy in baseball. I hope I never see the day when a National League manager no longer has to take into account a tiring pitcher, that pitcher's place in the batting order, his ability to hit or to bunt, what hitters he next faces and other factors that add to the excitement of a tight game.
It seems to me that things are out of order when owners have the power to change fundamental rules of the game. The integrity of baseball should never be compromised by frivolous attempts to increase ticket sales or for any group's financial interest.
RODNEY WELLS, Pensacola, Fla.
Instead of imposing the current designated hitter on the National League, let's rewrite the rules so that there's a DH in the lineup and the pitcher is required to bat. A 10-man batting order is no more repugnant to baseball traditionalists (like me) than the DH alone, and the idea has worked in Softball. It would preserve the best aspects of both systems. Aging sluggers could stick around both leagues for a couple of extra years, which should satisfy the players' union, and the game would retain the strategic complexities of a pitcher's position in the batting order, which the American League has been missing for too long.
RON RUDOLPH, Fairfield, Conn.
With the adoption of the DH by the National League, we will lose the double switch. We will also lose the drama of a limping Kirk Gibson hitting a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning of a World Series game. Rather than using gimmicks to bring in new fans, baseball must concentrate on fans who truly understand the complexities of the game and hope that they will spread baseball's seed.
MIKE BONOFIGLIO, McMinnville, Ore.
Our Litigious Society
I'm sorry Carol LaRosa was injured by a ball thrown by nine-year-old Little Leaguer Johnny Lupoli (SCORECARD, Jan. 15), but her lawsuit is another example of how our legal system is changing our society—for the worse. Frivolous lawsuits, and those who promote them, are an embarrassment to our country.
STANLEY W. YOUNG, Mackey, Ind.
Does LaRosa wonder if this budding athlete will have the same zip on his fastball the next time he rears back to throw? This lawsuit is beyond ridiculous.
BILL HODGE, Kissimmee, Fla.
I've spent more than 14 years around the insurance and risk management field. I have seen ludicrous lawsuits, but this one beats all because it involves a kid whose only fault was that he was a boy playing baseball.
MAURY B. DE BONT, Long Beach, Calif.
On the morning of March 3, 1993, I read an article in the newspaper about Mario Lemieux. The previous night he had made his return to the NHL just a few months after learning that he had Hodgkin's disease (It's Always There, Jan. 22). He had two points in the game.
When I returned home from school that day—my 16th birthday would be in four days—my parents were waiting for me. My dad said, "Hello, Super Mario." Then tears formed in his eyes. He explained that the results of a biopsy on a lump in my neck were in. I had Hodgkin's disease.