SI Vault
May 03, 1999
My wish for Kevin Brown is that his ERA will balloon to match his salary.—JIM O'ROARK, Beaver Falls, Pa.
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May 03, 1999


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I can see the letters now in response to your article on Brown. People will say he's a jerk, he has a violent temper, he's rude to the media and so on. Well, guess what? Sometimes that's what it means to be a competitor and not take losing lightly. More important, he still lives near his parents and cares dearly for his wife and two children. I have not heard about any drug use, weapons possession or fathering of children with multiple women.
SCOTT STRUBB, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.

I have had the good fortune to serve as Board President of The Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia for 1997 and '98, and Kevin Brown was kind enough to speak at our annual dinner in December. Within 48 hours of receiving the largest contract in baseball history, he was back home in Macon, speaking to a crowd of about 500 people, 200 of them underprivileged children. At the end of the night, I watched him sign hundreds of autographs for free. Brown is a giving, caring family man.

Mean streak? Nasty stuff? S.o.b.? Come on! Has Brown ever devoured an opponent's ear, attacked a spectator or spit in an umpire's face? In this wide world of nasty sports, can't you find a more deserving villain for these titles? Maybe he's not the most bubbly fellow in baseball, but so what? Isn't it possible that part of the reason he gets those fat paychecks is that he takes baseball so seriously? That passion is what makes the game worth watching.

Get Back, Shaq
Shaquille O'Neal's thumbing his nose at USA Basketball because he's frustrated with the NBA is exactly what's wrong with some of the players in the league (INSIDE THE NBA, March 29). He should be honored to be considered for the national team. I understand that the league wants its players competing for the U.S. to further the NBA's international ambitions. But the league and its players should leave the national team out of their disputes.
SCOTT SENFTEN, Missouri City, Texas

O'Neal's constant whining has grown tiresome. He should take his own advice and "just shut up and win."
JEFF DEDEKKER, Regina, Saskatchewan

Shaq averages 27.2 points a game, but he says that if the refs gave him every call they should, he'd average 60 points. Where are the additional 32.8 points going to come from? The foul line?
GEORGE WARREN, Topeka, Kans.

Flogging Faldo
I could not resist chuckling while reading about Nick Faldo's plight (TEEING OFF, April 19). Faldo deserves every ounce of self-inflicted misfortune that comes his way.
LUKE DEROECK, Glenview, Ill.

John Garrity's rant was probably the meanest-spirited piece I have seen in SI in my more than 30 years as a reader. Faldo will not win any awards for congeniality, but when you stoop that low, I have to get off the train.
Benicia, Calif.

Dear Diary
I have never written to voice my pleasure or displeasure about an article. However, I have to admit that Brandel Chamblee's diary of his experience at the Masters compels me to do so (So Close to Perfect, April 19). It exhibited innocence and, at the same time, professionalism. I have since found myself rooting for him. It was nice to read about a real, caring professional. Thanks for a wonderful diary.
Lake Orion, Mich.

Just Win, Baby
Let me get this straight. Hale Irwin's skill is unparalleled, he plays as hard as he can all the time, and he cares enough about winning that it shows (TEEING OFF, April 12). So that kind of guy is bad for the Senior tour? I don't think so. He sounds a lot like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Think the NBA misses them?
LARRY WOODS, Louisville

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