Men's sports are definitely my favorites to watch, and I am no feminist, but it was sweet to see Serena Williams and Annika Sorenstam, two superb female athletes, on the cover of the May 26 issue. Thanks for giving recognition where recognition is due.
I was disturbed to read in the story A Yen for Speed (SCORECARD, May 26) that some NASCAR fans want to ban Toyota. Why not allow a car from a different country to compete in the "last purely American sport"? People need to realize that being American is more than what you look like and where your name is from. If a Toyota is 100% made in the U.S.A., I believe it is an American-made car, and therefore qualifies under the rules. So the next time I, an Asian-American, turn on the TV and see NASCAR, I'll be rooting for the hated "rice rocket," just as the black community did for Jackie Robinson.
BEN CHOI, St. Louis
Nice going, Bill Bradley. Not many others could have written such a moving tribute to Dave DeBusschere in so few words (SCORECARD, May 26). I'm sure Dave was very proud to have been your teammate.
GERALD L. GUINDON, Escanaba, Mich.
The Unreal Deal
In their impressive piece of investigative journalism on counterfeit and knockoff golf clubs (Pssst...Wanna Buy Some Clubs?, May 26), E.M. Swift and Don Yaeger not only took the time to understand the legal concepts of intellectual property but also reported them accurately, an accomplishment I have rarely seen in nearly 20 years as an intellectual-property attorney. What may not have come across in the article is how consumers, companies and governments suffer far more than pure economic harm from fake products. Counterfeit medications, baby formula, airplane and motor vehicle parts have caused serious injury, illness and death. That organized crime also trades in counterfeits to launder funds from other illicit activities is also well known. Thank you for drawing your readers' attention to this serious problem.
First, the golf club manufacturers eliminate American jobs by sending the work to "cheap skilled labor" in China—not to pass on the savings to the U.S. consumer but to increase their profits. Next, they become upset when those same laborers start making copies and selling directly to the U.S. markets. Am I the only one who sees the irony in this? What infuriated me was reading that they're wasting the time of our law enforcement officials by having them try to catch the "bad guys." The clubmakers can catch them by looking in the mirror.
MIKE LIGON, Kent, Wash.
Albert Chen reports that Tampa Bay Devil Rays owner Vince Naimoli called Rocco Baldelli a "young DiMaggio" (Five At Bats, 18 Pitches, 10 Swings, Two Hits, Two Runs...and No Walks, May 26). Yeah, sure! By mid-May of this year, Baldelli had whiffed 37 times and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 6.21 to 1. In DiMaggio's rookie season he struck out 39 times, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 1.63—the only time in his career that this number exceeded one. (In 1941, his sixth season, DiMaggio struck out 13 times in 139 games with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 0.17.) A player such as DiMaggio with a lifetime strikeout-to-walk ratio of 0.47 and a free swinger such as Baldelli seem to be alike only in that they are both baseball players.
BOB WOODSIDE, Greenville, N.C.
I don't care whether Annika Sorenstam plays in a men's tournament or not (From the Back Tees, May 26), but if you let women play in men's sports, what rationale can you use to keep men from participating in women's sports? This is what's going on in high school girls' field hockey, and many of the parents are in an uproar. Although Sorenstam's participation is widely seen as a step forward for women's sports, it's really just a step onto the slippery slope that leads to women not being able to compete in their own games.
LEE SHAW MORRISON, Gainesville, Fla.
Vijay Singh is a great golfer, but I now have to say how disappointed I am in him. He spouts off about Annika playing in the Colonial and then doesn't have the guts to even play in the tournament. He should grow up and quit his whining.
MIKE BUTTERFIELD, Wauwatosa, Wis.
The only reason the PGA Tour is on television is because it sells advertising time. If letting women compete for the cut on the PGA Tour will sell more advertising time, they're going to play. Money is what really levels the playing field.
KATHY PEZDEK, Claremont, Calif.
Red Sox, Green Card
As a longtime member of Red Sox Nation who has lived through the eras of Black Label, Gansett and Schaefer beers, I must correct one thing in Steve Rushin's column (AIR AND SPACE, May 26). The morse code on the Wall—never the Green Monster—does not stand for Red Sox Nation but rather the initials of late owners Tom and Jean Yawkey. Oh, yeah, one other thing: As any Saachs fan knows, Bucky Dent's middle name is "bleepin' ".
MICHAEL SERGI, Newburyport, Mass.