SI's lament for the passing of baseball's big hitters (A Farewell to .300 Hitters, Sept. 26) is depressingly true. In these days of anemic averages it is hard to believe there were years when .400-plus was not quite good enough.
T. L. GIBSON
Ever since Ted Williams retired, I have found baseball rather boring. After reading Jack Mann's article about the demise of .300 hitters, perhaps I can forgive Mr. Williams his retirement and blame my boredom on the game itself.
How about limiting relief pitchers to one, barring injury? I predict it would bring something back to the game, although I'm not sure anything could make baseball as exciting as it once was.
As Jack Mann finally said, the real fan knows baseball very thoroughly and appreciates finesse more than power. There are many of us who, because we love the game, have studied baseball rules and baseball history with enjoyment and regret that the game has changed. We respect Babe Ruth for more than his home-run-hitting ability, and we don't respect the player who hits the long ball at the expense of the shorter, carefully placed hit to an empty spot in the field. Baseball owners, managers, coaches and players should realize that we fans dislike the present emphasis on the home run and that we especially dislike their disregard of the baseball intelligence of the fan.
MARY PAGE HINTON
Chevy Chase, Md.
Permit me to congratulate your Jack Mann on one of the best sports articles in the past several years.
EUGENE M. DAVIS
BLACK AND WHITE
Gary Ronberg's article on the LSU-South Carolina game (The Night They Learned to Forget the Coach, Sept. 26) implied throughout that this was a case of Charley McClendon and his Good Guys (presumably wearing white hats) against the villainous Paul Dietzel, who has performed such evil feats as bringing football glory to Louisiana State and even thinking about himself and his family occasionally.
McClendon's saying, "Maybe if I can just whip his britches this Saturday night it will clear the air around here," was a pretty inane remark. This is Dietzel's first year at South Carolina. He does not have an abundance of good material, and he had very little time to install any kind of system. McClendon and "the vociferous and demanding people of Louisiana" should be grateful that they will not have to face Dietzel and his Gamecocks again for at least five years.
As an attorney, I am appalled by the letter from Paul Dietzel (19TH HOLE, Sept. 26). He states that each contract between a football coach and a college should be unilateral (running in favor of one person only, i.e., the coach), while in both law and in equity almost all contracts are bilateral (with benefits running to both parties).
He also states that the coach should give notice that he is not going to renegotiate with the school, and the school would then have the benefit of the time necessary to find a new coach. On the other side of the coin, if the school is dissatisfied with the coach the school is still obligated to pay the coach for the full term of the contract, despite the fact that the coach need not perform any real coaching effort, nor render any services to the school. It would appear to me that this is more than job security and, as a matter of fact, could be construed as a guaranteed annual wage for no work.