Fists of Steel
Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier just want to make some easy money and get publicity. I wish that they would step into the ring with Lucia Rijker or Christy Martin (above). Let's see them try to go eight rounds with a real boxer.
Jake Smith, Ventura, Calif.
Hats Off to Larry
First, I loathe Larry Walker, who has made life miserable for Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and the immortal Greg Maddux (Handy Man, June 11). Obviously, I'm a Braves fan. But after reading Richard Hoffer's article, I'm amazed. It's hard to find a pro athlete today who doesn't think of himself as a god. I hope every Little Leaguer reads this article and lives by it.
David Darnell, Fort Drum, N.Y.
You should have considered filing your article about Walker under "This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse." A professional athlete who is humble, unpretentious and shows fiscal sobriety? Shame on you!
Craig Strohm, Grass Valley, Calif.
Walker is a great guy, an asset to the community and the best player on the Rockies. It's O.K. that he isn't a cheerleader in the clubhouse, but it's not O.K. that he doesn't run out ground balls. It's one thing to be so good that you don't appear to be trying. It's another to lazily trot down the line every time you ground out.
Dave Cunningham, Superior, Colo.
Walker is a Coors Field creation. From 1998 to 2000 he played 172 games at home and 172 on the road. With 579 at bats in those road games he hit a pedestrian .285, and had 19 home runs and 83 RBIs. At home he had 627 at bats and hit .419 with 50 home runs and 150 RBIs. This year is no different. At the All-Star break he was hitting .395 at Coors Field and .286 on the road. Above average, sure; great player, no.
Michael Ellsworth, Elgin, Ill.
The fight between Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier shows a lack of respect for their fathers and boxing (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 11). Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were great champions, and to use their names to sell tickets for two at-best-average women boxers is wrong.
Pat McCrossan, Sparta, N.J.
If George W. can become President, why shouldn't the Ali-Frazier girls make a few bucks based on their fathers' names? This is, after all, the land of opportunity!
Vijay Nair, Ann Arbor, Mich.
I thought your story on Edgerrin James was revealing (Making Waves, June 11). He's the type of money-hungry athlete who has soured fans on today's pro sports. But he was honest. Many athletes say it's not about the money when it is. He says, for him, it is about the money.
Brian Holtz, Philadelphia
I tried to give James the benefit of the doubt on his decision to not attend the "voluntary" workouts. But I question any athlete's commitment to win a championship when he chooses late-night bowling and early-morning breakfasts with his "crew" over working out with the team. I wonder how many Baltimore Ravens are choosing to skip "voluntary" workout sessions?
Brad Herington, Memphis
In [2/2] years of college, James learned the meaning of voluntary. If he had put in the full four years, he might also have learned the definition of the words responsibility and leadership. His lack of these two important qualities dooms the Colts to being merely a playoff team and not a championship contender.
Bob Gosselin, Atlanta