Enough about the Lakers already (The Center Cannot Hold, May 17). I understand the Lakers are an interesting story because of how dysfunctional they are; however, for all I know Wilt Chamberlain could rise from the dead and lead Minnesota to the title and you would probably give that no more than a page of coverage. You'd be too busy giving in-depth analysis of the Lakers' last shootaround.
NICK HIGH, Fort Washington, Pa.
I just read your article on this baseball player named Barry Bonds (A Season like No Other, May 17). His accomplishments seem unbelievable. Even though it isn't April 1, this must be another Sidd Finch-type story.
MICHAEL PRIZER, Fountain Valley, Calif.
The photograph of Roger Clemens walking Bonds is totally out of context with that game. I was there, and we all wanted to see Roger pitch to Barry. But on Bonds's first at bat the game situation dictated that he be walked. Roger struck him out on his next two at bats. It was fantastic to watch those two future Hall of Famers face off. And the respect that they showed each other during their interviews after the game was equally impressive.
BRUCE EVANS, Austin
I find Bonds's comments about Clemens's contract, which allows him to miss certain road trips when he's not scheduled to pitch, to be bigoted and ignorant. Clemens doesn't have the clause in his contract because he is white—it's because he's a starting pitcher who plays every fifth day (unlike an outfielder who plays every day).
MICHAEL A. MCQUADE, San Antonio
Bonds says, "It's wearing me down.... I'm on the bases the whole time or in the field.... It's a hard-ass job." No, Barry, it's not. Ask a farmer, a meatpacker or, better yet, a soldier. Everything that I've ever thought about Bonds was confirmed in that one paragraph. If it's too tough for you, Barry, take a seat. I think you'll find plenty of people who will trade jobs.
I found Listen Up, Grads!, Rick Reilly's tongue-in-cheek advice to college graduates (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 17), amusing save for one line. Using a guy like Bob Knight—who has consistently graduated players and never had a hint of scandal in more than 30 years of coaching—as a moral compass might actually do graduates some good down the road.
WILLIAM BUHR, Chicago
Your group of articles (They're in the Money, May 17) on the compensation of athletes is a prime example of why I no longer attend professional sporting events. Why should I pay inflated ticket prices to subsidize the opulent and excessive lifestyles of a bunch of overpaid underachievers? Instead, I take the money that I would spend on sports and donate it to charities, which appreciate it much more than any millionaire athlete or owner would.
VINCENT C. MAGLIO, Mesa, Ariz.
Put the incomes of the Fortunate 50 together, and you top $1 billion ($1,050,085,511 to be exact). This is almost equal to Mongolia's gross domestic product. The truly sad thing is that it is ultimately the fans—paying high prices for tickets, shoes and bags of chips—who support these outrageous salaries.
STEVEN J. SWOAP, Williamstown, Mass.
Although your list of the top 50 highest-paid athletes was quite interesting—and depressing—it could have been titled The 50 Worst Investments Made by Owners. Out of the 50 athletes noted, 40 of them are on a team sport. Of the 40 team-sport athletes, only seven have championship rings. Seven out of 40? Nice investing!
PAUL MAZZUCA, Fox River Grove, Ill.
Good juxtaposition: your coverage of the memorial service of Pat Tillman (LEADING OFF, May 17) and the vulgarity and excess of overpaid athletes. How sad that people all over the world are living in cardboard boxes or worse, and some athlete has to have a 30,000-square-foot house. It's also noteworthy that only two women have been raised to the apotheosis of money in sport. Thanks for telling the whole story.
ANN BURNS, Atlanta