If we all could have just half the heart of Linda Simmons, what a wonderful world it would be.
—MISTY MCCLOUD, Verdunville, W.Va.
Major Minor Leaguer
Russ Morman (Morman's Mission, June 29) has the ingredients every baseball player today should have: love for the game, integrity, perseverance and humility. It is refreshing to know that there are still guys out mere who play baseball because they love the game.
STEVEN E. CYNCEWICZ, Dearborn, Mich.
Every overpaid prima donna in baseball should be required to read the tale of Russ Morman as a reminder of why big leaguers need to have a little more respect for their good fortune.
FRANK JACQUINDO, Philadelphia
Although I empathize with Morman's frustration, I cannot feel sorry for him. He gets to do exactly what he loves and makes a very good living doing it.
MICHAEL BARBOZA, Largo, Fla.
I realize that youth must be served and that Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter are mighty fine shortstops (All-Stars...So Far, July 6). However, to skip Omar Vizquel while waxing ecstatic over Miguel Tejada, Edgar Renteria, Neifi Perez and Mike Caruso is a bit much. At the All-Star break Vizquel was hitting just over .300 and had committed one error in his last 118 games. Apparently consistent excellence means little if one has not "transformed" the position and happens to be over 25.
BOB SHERIDAN, Lyndhurst, Ohio
An analysis of your All-Stars reveals a composite won-lost percentage of .504 for the teams these 10 athletes represent. My choice would be 10 pinstripers from the Bronx, whose team had an All-Star break won-lost percentage of .753.
JIM COYNE, Ocean Park, B.C.
How could Tom Verducci not mention Jim Thome at first base?
JEFF SIRAK, New York City
The title was '98 Dream Team, but it seemed as if it should have been '98 Home Run Derby. I was disappointed in your selections because the criteria depended upon one statistic, power. It seems the all-around professional is no longer good enough if he is not producing homers.
STEVEN POSTON, Houston
Tom Verducci certainly created a formidable major league All-Star lineup. At the minor league level this quality lineup would be even more impressive. Over the years I got to watch Juan Gonzalez, Robb Nen, Ivan Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa play for the Tulsa Drillers, the Texas Rangers' AA affiliate in the Texas League. HARVEY COHEN, Tulsa
Throw the Book at Him
There is no doubt that Greg Maddux is a very good pitcher (The Book on Maddux, July 6). But if the National League umpires started calling balls and strikes as mandated by the rules, I wonder how good Maddux would be.
TOM YORK, Osage Beach, Mo.