Bill Leggett states that the Mets are unpredictable (Beware of the Cliff Dwellers, June 21), but he fails to see that the Pirates are quite the opposite. Willie Stargell continues his home-run assault, the pitching has improved over last year when the Bucs won the NL East title and the depth of the bench is unrivaled in the major leagues.
Sorry, Bill, but the Pirates are sweeping everything this year. As the Bucs' announcer, Bob Prince, would say, "We had 'em all the way!"
To be blunt, I am tired of reading in your publication about the great New York Mets while Pittsburgh continues to lead the East. In the past two seasons we have been forced to stomach continuous stories about Seaver and Co. while the Pirates rate only two stories in two years. If the Mets were actually as good as you seem to think, I would be the last to object to the publicity. But they are not. There is one consolation though. When the World Series is over, you will be forced to mention the Pirates—as the winners.
When I saw the June 21 cover I envisioned an impartial story on the three-team race in the East. The way Mr. Leggett wrote it, you'd think the Mets were in first place by 20 games instead of 3� behind the Bucs. I would like to read an article on the team that has been in first place a good part of the year and, before slumping, won 12 out of 14 on a recent home stand. What team am I talking about? The St. Louis Cardinals.
SPIRO STIRS 'EM UP
The thinly veiled political import of Spiro Agnew's words (Not Infected with the Conceit of Infallibility, June 21) leads to a rather fascinating contradiction wherein the Vice-President takes Dave Meggysey, Chip Oliver and George Sauer to task. In one passage he disparages society for becoming "more concerned with the aberrations than the norm," having previously decried a society "that would have us live our lives as identical lemmings."
As you no doubt learned from the Chandler series, politics and sports do not mix. SI would be well advised to avoid courting authors who have an ax to grind or a reputation to mend. It might appear that Mr. Agnew is seeking a nomination for Sportsman of the Year.
OSMOND ALBORN III
La Mesa, Calif.
If your best game is table tennis, Spiro, then please play in your basement where damage would be minimal. By the way, lock the basement door.
STANFORD H. LAMPE
It was an unpleasant surprise and a grave disappointment to find that SI had provided such a willing forum for the utterly unctuous Utterings of the Vice-President. His thoroughly convoluted approach to the relationship of sports to mankind is alarming in its suggestion that seeking fun and relaxation should be only a tertiary purpose of participant sports. This glib and cavalier dismissal of any value other than being No. 1 is patently detrimental to the idea that sports is merely one of a wide variety of means toward human development.
As competition becomes more invidious, the benefits that Mr. Agnew extols reach a point of diminishing returns. It is time that Vince Lombardi's "Winning is the only thing" maxim was laid to rest, before the proponents of this ethic do the same to the spirit of brotherhood in this country.
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President, from all the Walter Mittys of sport.