Kings for a Day
As I watch Sacramento's Bobby Jackson being taken to the locker room for X-rays on his cheekbone, I ask, Why did you have to put the Kings on your cover (Pair of Kings, May 12)? Chris Webber had left the game earlier with a major injury. All year they have been the best team in the NBA. Then your cover comes out and, bam, there's the horrible loss in Game 2 and the devastating loss of two key players. The jinx lives.
Fair Oaks, Calif.
I can't figure out why the Minnesota Timberwolves can't make it past the first round of the playoffs. After reading your stories on the superb play of Jackson and Chauncey Billups (The Billups Barometer, May 12)—both former T-Wolves—I'm guessing that maybe these two great point guards didn't fit into the T-Wolves' plans for mediocrity.
KRIS M. AKSTETER, Eden Prairie, Minn.
I understand that NASCAR fans are passionate about the drivers, but it seems the Dale Earnhardt mourners (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 12) take his death harder than the loss of a family member. I don't think I've ever seen a GRANDMA—R.I.P. sticker on anyone's bumper.
SHAWN MCGUIRE, Madison, Wis.
Reilly's finger is on the pulse of the Three Nation. He is the reason I will continue to read my SI backward. This still-grieving pilgrim thanks you.
JULIE ZIEL, Spring Valley, Ill.
A Tale of Two Coaches
Coach Mike Price of Alabama and Larry Eustachy of Iowa State (Bad Behavior, May 12) are examples of CEO excess, just as Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco) and John Rigas (Adelphia) are. When people are overpaid, it should not surprise us that they think and act as though they are overprivileged.
MIKE FRANDSEN, Huntingdon, Pa.
If this behavior was Price's idea of being a role model for his players, it explains a lot about Ryan Leaf.
ROBERT C. HOBBS, Shepherdstown, W.Va.
It's hard to believe that upon being fired for carousing at a topless bar in the middle of SEC country, Price would have the audacity to accuse Alabama president Robert Witt of "making an error in judgment."
As someone who teaches high school math to inner-city, at-risk youth, I found Beane Counter (May 12) to be about a lot more than sports. I thought it was an illustration of how to use math not as an end in itself, or as a substitute for dealing with people, but as a tool to apprehend the invisible, the essence of another person's mind, as possibly revealed by a trail of numbers—in this case on-base percentage and pitches seen per plate appearance. I want my students to know that there are Billy Beanes out there who will try to judge them for who they are and not by their appearance or how they did on some test.
MARTIN BUTZEN, Chicago
Franz Kafka wrote, "Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy." Beane discarded the ancient, intuitive scouting bureaucracy and replaced it with a statistical bureaucracy. He slammed the phone against the wall when the old guys drafted high schooler Jeremy Bonderman—but Bonderman three-hit Oakland over eight innings last month.
ROB MCKENZIE, Stouffville, Ont.
Having grown up with Doug Flutie, I took particular interest in Michael Lewis's outstanding article. Performance-based scouting. What a concept! If only Beane had been a G.M. in the NFL about 15 years ago.
JONATHAN BRAY, Marina Del Rey, Calif.