Mulling the Marlins
Tom Verducci's Youth Is Served (Nov. 3) gave a detailed explanation for the Florida Marlins' victory. However, it is simpler to do the math: The team that won the World Series had the best record in baseball since May 23 (72-42).
MARK ROSENBERG, Boca Raton, Fla.
I'm sure I wasn't the only baseball fan who couldn't have cared less about the World Series after the Red Sox and the Cubs lost. Give me goats and pianos—and yes, Steve Bartmans—over fish any day.
The opening photo by John Iacono is an all-time SI classic. I had seen this play over and over on TV and in slow motion, but this photo was definitive proof, once and for all, that Jorge Posada missed the tag and that Alex Gonzalez slapped the plate. It was a great play, a World Series-winning play, and a great picture.
BOB BUDKE, Stamford, Conn.
Stoops to Conquer
Thank you so much for your column on Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops (THE LIFE OF REILLY, NOV. 3). In 1968 I was a nonathletic high school sophomore at Cardinal Mooney High in Youngstown, Ohio, and Ron Stoops, Bob's father, was my world history teacher. I learned more about history, and life, from Mr. Stoops than from any other teacher I've ever had. Every time I see Bobby Stoops on TV, I say to my wife, "His father would be so proud," and I'm sure he is. Thanks for writing about two good people.
JIM KENNEDY, Flemington, N.J.
Stoops has been nothing but great for Oklahoma. He raised the Sooners back to glory, and he has done it the right way. He has not illegally recruited players, and he has not had players in trouble with the law. Since college basketball already had its ethics class this year, maybe Stoops can teach the one for college football next year.
MATT SCHWARK, Rochester, Mich.
Bob Stoops sounds like a pretty cool guy. Too bad OU still sucks.
DANIEL OLASKY, Austin
All This and Softball, Too
I really enjoyed Bill Syken's Football in Paradise (Nov. 3), but I would like to assure you that football isn't the Samoan's only game. In 1969 my destroyer was returning from Vietnam and made a replenishment stop at Pago Pago. We wired ahead our logistics requirements and noted that we would like to play a softball game with a local team. Our team was pretty good, undefeated in Navy circles. But after the first inning they were beating us 15-0. We broke out the beer and had a great time. Players even switched teams. The Samoans were great softball players, and even better hosts.
JAMES G. BAKER, Plant City, Fla.
A Spartan Life
Now I've seen it all. A big-time athlete actually taking responsibility for his shortcomings (Number 9 Is Feeling Fine, Nov. 3)? While no one can condone Jeff Smoker's behavior, his personal accountability and conduct since coming clean about his drug use should be a lesson to all high-profile athletes and all those who have made similar mistakes.
TOM O'CONNOR, Chicago
Instead of admiring Smoker's comeback, I would rather recognize all the great students and student-athletes who attend college for the right reasons. They have equal (albeit different) pressures yet still maintain their honor and self-respect, do not embarrass their schools or families and graduate—while, in some cases, having to work to pay for school themselves.
ROY JOHNSON, Ortonville, Mich.
I cannot believe you wasted five pages on John Daly ("All My Exes Wear Rolexes," Nov. 3). According to your story Daly is a trailer-trash drunk who beats up women, fights with old men, womanizes endlessly and has squandered his God-given talent. What's next? A nice layout on what O.J. Simpson has been doing lately?
J. ALLAN COBB, Waltham, Mass.