Your Feb. 24 baseball cover picture of the Angels is an instant classic. At first I thought I was looking at an artist's rendition of a 1950s training camp but soon realized it was a photographic masterpiece.
I got a warm and tingly feeling from Tom Verducci's spring training article (Hope Springs Eternal, Feb. 24). For years I've been listening to friends say baseball has lost its place as the national pastime, that it's boring and too slow. Reading this article made me realize just how wrong they are. I'm looking forward to this season more than ever. Play ball!
PETE SWETKOVICH, San Jose
Every year, when the headlines read PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT, I send an e-mail to a few friends saying, "At least for today, all is right in the world." With a pending war in Iraq, a crisis in North Korea, ongoing concern over terrorism and a flat economy, this year's e-mail took on special meaning. In 27 years as an SI subscriber I've never had a cover story affect me the way Verducci's did. With the rest of the world seemingly headed in the wrong direction, this could be—who knows—the Cubs' year.
ALAN REGISTER, Birmingham
Two hundred sixty-five yards off the tee (A Woman among Men, Feb. 24)? Loren Roberts—eight PGA Tour wins, 21st on the career money list with $12 million—has done O.K. hitting the ball that distance. Anyone who has seen Annika Sorenstam swing a golf club knows she will probably be playing on the weekend at the Colonial.
C. RONALD KERSH
The comments about Annika's being bland are ridiculous and a little sexist. She is focused on winning, dresses stylishly—wearing cool shades even before David Duval—and is a wonderful role model for young female athletes.
KIRK NEAL, Blacksburg, Va.
The pictures of Annika Sorenstam are beautiful, but in an article that debated, among other things, whether the LPGA should be taken seriously, SI decided to sex it up just in case. Disappointing.
MERCY GARLAND, Valley Cottage, N.Y.
Since former Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson (Hog Fight, Feb. 24) is still living near the Fayetteville campus, I think he should take a course in Reality 101. He had a great career at Arkansas and was loved by the community. He basically told his bosses to "take this job and shove it." Does it surprise anyone that they took him up on it? Nolan, you were well-paid as the basketball coach at Arkansas for 17 years. Your departure was not a racial thing. It was a reality thing, and you have millions of reasons to feel good about what you've accomplished. Go in peace, my friend.
A 10% graduation rate? Richardson—or any other coach with that statistic—should have been fired a long time ago.
SCOTT BRYANT, Lake Forest, Calif.
It's not like I need a ton of motivation to go cover-to-cover (SWIMSUIT ISSUE, Winter 2003), but you also gave me short fiction by the hilarious Carl Hiaasen (Tart of Darkness) and a special section devoted to Serena Williams. After 20 years I actually read an issue!
JON FELD, Newton, Mass.
Would you please ask Ekaterina Gordeeva if she would let you give us more of her Swimsuit pictures, either in the magazine or on si.com? We want more, Katia! And more Katia!
CHARLES D. HARDIN, Newton, N.C.