Curt Flood says, rather resentfully, concerning the evidence for the defense of the reserve clause, "What they meant was that the change might reduce their profits." What is wrong with profits? Baseball is a very competitive sport not only on the playing field but in the office, and tough-minded business methods must be used to make it a success. With no profits there would soon be no owners, and with no owners baseball would degenerate into amateur or semipro status and sandlot conditions. If there is any doubt on this point, take a look at what were once thriving minor leagues.
When a club makes a profit the players feel that they are the ones who have earned it (they may be partially right), and they want to get every cent of it. But this is a one-way street. I have yet to hear of a team voluntarily agreeing to take salary cuts to help a club that is operating at a deficit.
Finally, while they resent the profits made by the owners, the players are not averse to seeking profits as owners of their own outside enterprises. Why are profits right for them but wrong for their employers?
Thank you for your beautiful version of what the outcome will be of the Ali-Frazier match (It's Gonna Be the Champ and the Tramp, Feb. 1). The poetry on how Ali will win was excellent, and it is good to know that a black man will finally make it to the moon—or somewhere out in space.
Muhammad Ali may be a great fighter, but his logic certainly lacks something. Most of his prefight banter consists of comparing his and Frazier's performances against Oscar Bonavena and George Chuvalo. Ali seems intent on convincing someone (probably himself) that on the basis of these performances he should "whup" Joe. However, it seems to me that Frazier became the first man to stop Chuvalo, while poor Muhammad danced with George for 15 rounds.
Only the evening of March 8 will prove who's the champ and who's the tramp.
J. MARC ROSEN
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The new stars of Love Story—SI and Muhammad Ali. C'mon, many of us are getting sick and tired of seeing the bum!
I would like to thank Writer Pat Putnam and Photographers Sheedy and Long for a wonderful article on Jim Ryun's return to competition (Back in the Running, Feb. 1). The pictures were great, especially the one of Ryun breaking the string.
BLACK IS BEST (CONT.)
On the basis of two decades of experience in treating track athletes, I would add two observations to your very fine article, An Assessment of "Black Is Best" (Jan. 18).
First, the black athlete is just as much under tension as his white counterpart. I have done blood-pressure studies and found the range prior to competition to be 140/80 to 160/80 in blacks as well as whites. After competition the blood-pressure range was 110/70 to 130/70 in all athletes.