I want to add my two cents' worth to the current National League balk controversy, which is excellently covered in your recent article, Just a Second (April 22).
If the National League officials are going to be so strict in enforcing this rule, why don't they enforce other rules which are known to be ignored? For instance, the shortstops and second basemen are given the benefit of the doubt as to whether they actually have possession of the ball when they contact second base on the double play. Also, first basemen often draw their feet off the bag before receiving the ball on ground-out plays. Yet nothing is done about enforcing these rules.
What is this crazy business of all of a sudden bringing back the balk rule? It was a silly thing to begin with, and there is no reason why it should be continued.
The transparent attempt on the part of Commissioner Rozelle to even up the NFL has made a mockery of the whole concept of justice (Players Are Not Just People, April 29).
If Rozelle believes that the football-loving public is addlebrained enough to believe that two of the brightest stars on the two best teams in football are the only players guilty enough of betting to be suspended from playing, let him live in his dream world—but let him dream alone.
If Rozelle wants to punish everyone in the league proportionately to their wrongdoing, I am for it. He might have enough players left to start an interesting horseshoe league. But his pull-the-wool tactic of punishing only the Packers and Lions doesn't set too well in this corner.
Lest you get the impression that I favor point-shaving, throwing games and the general deterioration of American morals, let me say that the two major basketball scandals were apparently handled with equality, honesty and justice—and the people involved were fairly punished. But when it comes to deliberately ruining a man's professional life for making a side bet—for shame, for shame!
It's fine to carry a big stick, but isn't it best to speak softly before clobbering somebody with it?
Mt. Vernon, Ohio
The suspension of Paul Hornung and Alex Karras poses the question: Who is being penalized, the players or the fans?
E. F. BEISTEL
I have been a loyal baseball fan since I can remember. It seems to me that baseball has become very tiring near the end of the year. I have always assumed that it was because of the slowness of the game, but David Balkin (19TH HOLE, April 22) set me straight when he said the baseball season is much too long. It would be much better if the teams played 16-game series with each other, beginning with about May 1 and ending with September 15. Scheduling more doubleheaders with less traveling—four-game series with each team would do this—would insure profits and less tiring seasons. Let's hope that someone tries it.