My thanks to Tom Verducci for the important article on steroids in baseball (Totally Juiced, June 3). By ignoring the potential for long-range health problems in the service of shortsighted greed, both players and management have forgotten that baseball is more than just another business or entertainment product. Major League Baseball holds a unique national trust. The use of illegal drugs threatens the fundamental integrity of the game. I hope there are players and front office staff with enough appreciation for the history of the game and enough concern for its future to step up to the plate, tell the truth and put a stop to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
THE REVEREND DR. BRUCE T. DAVIS
Newtown Square, Pa.
I'm worried about the future of the game that I have loved since I was five years old, and the health and welfare of players who can't think past their million-dollar contracts.
As a strength and conditioning coach working with high school athletes, I have to deal with the issue of illicit steroid use on a daily basis. I have a difficult enough time convincing my athletes of the dangers involved without your magazine publishing an article praising the advantages of these drugs. Yes, you did mention some negative side effects, but very few compared with the potential benefits of using steroids. You quoted one athlete as saying that he doesn't consider steroid use a mistake and another saying that if he were back at the beginning of his career, he might consider using steroids. How do you think that will affect my young impressionable athletes?
DAN HUFF, Lodi, N.J.
Usually the worst your cover can do is make my favorite team lose. This time it made me lose faith in baseball.
RYAN DUFFY, Chicago
Please schedule a CATCHING UP WITH column on Ken Caminiti in 2012. That should make for very interesting reading.
STUART WEISS, Los Angeles
Babe Ruth achieved his records on a steady diet of sex, booze and fatty meat products. Baseball needs to return to its roots for statistics to have any relevance.
RICHARD PRESTON, Fort Collins, Colo.
When I played high school baseball, steroids were being taken. When I played junior college ball, steroids were being taken, and now as I play NCAA baseball, steroids are being taken. I've seen it firsthand wherever I've played, and I have never been tested, nor have my teammates. Players are looking for the extra edge just to be noticed by pro or college scouts. In 2000 I played against a pitcher, now in the major leagues, who gained at least 15 to 20 pounds in the year and a half it took him to get through the minors. We high school and college players know it's going on, and we're trying to get to the same place many steroid users already are, so why wouldn't we do it? Some of us don't, and many of us will never get there.
KEITH OSSO, Spokane
As a father of two boys, I can now add juiced-up baseball players to my list of hurdles to overcome when trying to teach my kids to just say no.
RICK FELLENBAUM, New Holland, Pa.
Perhaps the blas� users who accept steroids as another part of the game and see human growth hormone as the next big thing should track down two back issues of SI: the cover story tell-all from Lyle Alzado (July 8, 1991) and the issue with his obituary (May 25, 1992).
BRIAN HARRISON, Quincy, Mass.
Martina and Mom
Your story on Martina Hingis (The Seven-Year Itch, June 3) is a heartbreaker. When her own mother questions her character, Martina has to feel she has no worth as a person other than what she gets from her accomplishments on a tennis court. Her mother and other hangers-on are set for life thanks to the miracle that is Martina's talent. Denying young athletes the unconditional love they are entitled to and forcing them to support hosts of "family" is very close to child abuse and distressing to behold.
CAROLEE PASTORIUS, Alexandria, Va.