Your article described a fan's nightmare: an owner who cares not about winning but about the outfits people wear to his parties.
—PREMAL S. SHAH, Pasadena
Kudos to Franz Lidz for his story on Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Up and Down in Beverly Hills, April 17). I've wondered what was behind the Clips' perpetual ineptitude. Now I know. Mr. Sterling, you may be a successful businessman, but as a basketball owner you remind me of the owner of the Indians in the movie Major League, cutting costs as if they were a minor league franchise. Sell the Clippers and give the fans and players a chance at a winner.
NEIL PIERSON, Pullman, Wash.
Having been Clippers season-ticket holders for 10 years, we have witnessed the ups and downs (mostly downs) of this team. As our frustration mounted, we decided to display our disgust with management by attending the games with paper bags on our heads. That's how we ended up on your cover. We love the Clippers and eagerly await the day they are a winning team and franchise.
RICK DENNIS (STAPLE THIS!)
LAURA DENNIS (JUST SHOOT ME)
BRAD CURTIS (S.O.S. [Same Old Sterling])
Van Nuys, Calif.
I'm protesting a gross misstatement in your article that says, "Sterling, a spectacularly successful real estate baron who owns the Malibu Yacht Club...." It's bad enough to endure the embarrassment of his ownership of the Clippers, but it would be intolerable if he was associated with the Malibu Yacht Club. Although he does own the property where the Malibu Yacht Club once stood, the club moved more than 20 years ago, first to Zuma Beach and now to Paradise Cove. Sterling has never been a member of the club.
ERIC DEAN SCHMITTER
Member and former Commodore
Malibu Yacht Club
Santa Monica, Calif.
On the Other Hand
Sterling is not the worst owner in NBA league history. That distinction belongs to Ted Stepien, who in the early 1980s turned the Cleveland Cavaliers into a league laughingstock by trading six years' worth of No. 1 draft picks for career journeymen, tried to move the team without informing anyone and staged classless halftime acts such as the fat guy eating beer cans. Measured against Stepien, Sterling is Owner of the Year.
HEATH FLORKEY, Travelers Rest, S.C.
I take exception to your naming the Clippers the worst franchise in sports history. I feel it is my obligation to draw your attention to the Detroit Lions. This is a franchise that has employed coaching legends such as Darryl Rogers and Wayne Fontes. This is a franchise so horrible that Barry Sanders would rather kick back in a La-Z-Boy than lace 'em up for these fools.
JEFF MOSCOW, West Bloomfield, Mich.
The only people more pathetic than those bag-wearing Clippers fans are the editors who chose them for the cover. How could you not select Masters champion Vijay Singh after his gutsy win at Augusta?
DOMINIC R. ESPERAT, Beaumont, Texas
While it may be easy to question Sterling's personnel decisions, wasn't it SI who, before the 1987-88 season, predicted that the Clippers' first choice, Reggie Williams, would turn out to be Rookie of the Year?
Matthew Napoli, New York City
I enjoyed your article on the Royals' young outfield of Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye (Force Three, April 17). I want to point out another superb young outfield in the American League Central: the White Sox' triumvirate of Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordo�ez and Chris Singleton. They combined last year to hit 63 homers (same as Beltran, Damon and Dye, but in 242 fewer at bats) and drive in 273 runs. The Chicago outfield had two .300 hitters (Ordonez at .301 and Singleton, .300), while Kansas City's had just one ( Damon, .307).
JOE SANTORO, Reno
Ivan Maisel's thoughts about trimming the college football fat to fund men's minor sports are right on target (SCORECARD, April 17). Athletic administrators love to blame Title IX for cuts in minor sports, but I have yet to hear a reasonable argument why a football team needs 85 scholarships. If university officials had the courage to confront football coaches, minor sports could be spared the ax.
L.B. BROWN, Sherwood, Ore.