JORDAN'S NEW GAME
My golfing friends and I are outraged at the hype surrounding Michael Jordan's golf game (Sink, Blast You! Aug. 14). His best round is only 73. Granted, Jordan once poured in 63 points in a game, but let's see him score a 63 on the golf course before we talk about this PGA Tour stuff.
Your Aug. 14 cover story on Michael Jordan's desire to play pro golf evoked memories of SI's exclusive cover story on the retirement of Bill Russell ("I'm Not Involved Anymore, "Aug. 4, 1969). I can still see Russell on the cover, peering out of a golf cart, talking of becoming "the hottest...16-handicap golfer to come along in years." Come on. If Jordan, with his six-to-10 handicap, can make a living on the PGA Tour, then I'm ready to try out for the Celtics.
DENTON B. ASHWAY
What's next for Jordan? A slam putt?
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Danny Ferry (SCORECARD, Aug. 14) is one of the last athletes I would have expected to forsake the NBA for foreign riches. I had always heard that Ferry was a levelheaded, hardworking young man. But his show of disappointment at being drafted by the Clippers and his signing with II Messaggero Roma in Italy contrast with this description. The NBA system calls for the best players to try to improve the worst teams. If Ferry had lived up to his reputation, he would have wanted to help the Clippers rather than flee from them.
As one who will soon be 40, I was glad to see that the darts thrown at the senior circuits by Rick Reilly (POINT AFTER, July 17) were caught by a sage Jeremiah Tax, disarmed and returned (POINT AFTER, Aug. 14). Grandfather Tax's insight and argument were surpassed only by his courteous and gentlemanly tone. I agree with Reilly on one point, however: I don't want to see Mike Tyson annihilate George Foreman either.
If Rick Reilly practices what he preaches, he'd best retire. After all, he is a "senior writer." Thumbs up to Mr. Tax.
HOLD THAT STAT
While I agree that the middle reliever is the most overlooked player in baseball, I question the qualifications suggested for awarding a "hold" (INSIDE BASEBALL, July 24). The July 25 Cubs-Cardinals game illustrates my point.
With Chicago ahead 3-1 going into the last of the seventh, Calvin Schiraldi was summoned to protect the lead—a perfect hold opportunity if ever there was one. Schiraldi walked the first batter; the second man up sent Cub right-fielder Andre Dawson to the wall for a fly ball; Schiraldi walked the next batter. Chicago manager Don Zimmer brought in Les Lancaster. He faced one hitter, who flied out. Zimmer called in Steve Wilson, who got a strikeout to end that inning but gave up a single in the eighth. Zimmer next brought in Mitch Williams, who finished and got the save.
Schiraldi, Lancaster and Wilson all met your criteria for a hold—they did not win, lose or save the game, nor did they blow the save. But surely Schiraldi's performance was not worthy of a hold. Give the hold a clearer definition by adding some requirement of effective performance, and you'll have a statistic that truly recognizes the middle reliever.
The article on the Vikings' Anthony Carter (Reaching for the Ring, Aug. 14) reminded me of a time during his freshman year at Michigan when he showed a flash of the spectacular ability he possesses. With six seconds to play against Indiana in 1979 and the score tied 21-21, Michigan had the ball just past midfield. Quarterback John Wangler threw a pass over the middle to AC in the dead zone between the linebackers and the safeties, who were playing deep. AC caught it on the 25, danced around several defenders and dashed for the goal line, pulling through a grab at his jersey as he went in for the winning touchdown. The stunned Michigan crowd roared its approval (left) of what was surely one of the most dramatic game-ending plays in Wolverine history.