Your article on relief pitchers and their place in the strategy of the game (How Do You Spell Success? R-E-L-I-E-F, April 4) reminded me of an incident that occurred on May 17, 1979. On that date, the Chicago Cubs suffered a 23-22 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. Dennis Lamp started for the Cubs and Randy Lerch for the Phillies. Both pitchers took their showers in the first inning. Chicago proceeded to use five relievers, Philadelphia four. While high-scoring games are not uncommon, particularly at Wrigley Field, what's interesting about this game is that four of the Cub relievers—Willie Hernandez, Bill Caudill, Donnie Moore and Bruce Sutter (the losing pitcher)—went on to be considered among the best relievers of the'80s.
Salt Lake City
Q & A
Steve Wulf (20 Questions, April 4) asks, "Why do baseball managers wear uniforms when coaches in most other sports wear street clothes?" I have a couple of additional replies. In no other major team sport is the manager or coach allowed on the field of play—though it might be entertaining to see an NHL coach chase down a linesman to protest a call. In basketball, of course, coaches do not wear uniforms because the nation is not yet prepared to see John Thompson or Frank Layden in shorts.
Here's one for when you do college football 20 questions: Why on PATs and field goals is the play not blown dead when the holder's knee touches the ground and he is in possession of the ball? Does this not meet the definition of a dead ball?
?According to Dave Nelson, secretary and editor of the NCAA Football Rules Committee, an exception to the Dead Ball Rule (Rule 4-13-b), which was formulated mainly to allow players to fake field goals and then either run with the ball or pass it, permits the holder to touch his knee to the ground. The exception reads: "The ball remains alive when an offensive player has simulated a kick or is in position to kick the ball held for a placekick by a teammate. The ball may be kicked, passed or advanced."—ED.
Please identify the Los Angeles Lakers on your April 18 cover.
BRIAN J. STRUNC
I think it's worth noting that five members of NCAA championship teams—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ( UCLA, 1967, '68, '69), Magic Johnson ( Michigan State, 79), James Worthy ( North Carolina, '82) and Milt Wagner and Billy Thompson (both Louisville, '86)—are among the Lakers pictured on your cover.
Greenlawn, N. Y.