THE TIGER'S TALE
I watched the Tigers give Oakland a run for the money in the American League playoffs, and I am disgusted. Not with the Tigers. In my opinion, they deserved to be the team playing Cincinnati for the world championship. What I am disgusted about is the coverage that they received during the stretch and the playoffs. Detroit and Boston gave baseball fans all over the country something to watch. It seems that whenever there is a close race for the pennant, the Tigers are one of the teams in it. But the only coverage that appeared in your magazine was to be found in BASEBALL'S WEEK. YOU were not even so kind as to write anything about our superstar, Al Kaline, and his fantastic stretch drive. Someone who has contributed as much to baseball as he has in the last 20 years should get some recognition. The whole team showed how good it was during those final two weeks.
Your article Mad About the Came (Oct. 16) capped the whole lousy coverage. How could you try to discredit the Tigers by calling them old folks? They showed that age has very little to do with the game, as long as you are still willing to try. Players like Tony Taylor, Duke Sims, Gates Brown, Norm Cash and Al Kaline showed that the will was still there. I congratulate all of the Tigers on a fine season.
East Lansing, Mich.
I feel I must raise my voice in disagreement with your contention that by "splitting the leagues to create four artificial races instead of two real ones" baseball may have hurt rather than helped itself (SCORECARD, Oct. 9). Although a race between the two National League powers, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, was precluded by their separation by division, the American League race was made much more exciting by that very same separation. Surely there would have been a dearth of enthusiasm among Eastern AL fans had the Tigers, Red Sox, Orioles and Yankees been battling for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth places behind the Oakland A's and Chicago White Sox. Oakland is too far away from these four Eastern cities to have excited anything more than a few uninterested yawns.
Chula Vista, Calif.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY
It appears your article on Charles O. Finley (Charlie O. Eyes a Pennant or Three, Oct. 9) came at a most appropriate time. Just as Finley was complaining that "there hasn't been one significant rule change [in baseball] in the last 86 years," Bert Campaneris took it upon himself to provide the spark needed.
I foresee a new rule being passed, possibly as early as next year. Each hit batter (heretofore designated as "hit by pitcher" and placed in the score book as HBP) will now be allowed one free fling with his bat at the offending pitcher. If he is successful and strikes the pitcher (hereafter designated as "hit by batter" and scored as HBB), the batter will be allowed to advance to second base. If he is unsuccessful, he will advance only to first base. No longer would a pitcher be able to stand out on the mound and hurl baseballs 90 mph at quivering batters while he attempts to find his control.
But the biggest benefits of all might come with the necessary rule-book changes. Just think of the possibilities: the distance between pitcher and flinger would have to be established; the number of steps allowed in the windup of the flinger would have to be set; substitute flingers could be used for those who are injured too badly to fling for themselves; balk rules would be needed for those who make false flings; and, of course, to satisfy nonpurists who wish to speed up the game, a time limit between being hit and flinging would have to be established.
There is another factor to consider, though. How about the player who has trouble hitting the pitcher? Can you imagine being branded for life as good glove, good bat, no fling.
It is impossible to say if Bert Campaneris was intentionally hit by Detroit Pitcher Lerrin LaGrow. Only LaGrow would know for sure. But there is no doubt as to what Campaneris thought, which was clearly demonstrated as he threw his bat at LaGrow's head. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's decision to let Campaneris play in the World Series and then continue the suspension for the first seven days of the 1973 season can only be termed outrageous.
BRAD R. COHEN
Charleston, W. Va.
TAKING IT LITERALLY
Regarding the picture at the bottom of pages 44-45 of your preview of the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen ( Woodstock on Wheels, Oct. 2), what were you trying to get across to your readers? The caption read: "Young and happy crowds, living and littering it up with abandon and enjoying the event...." That was a pitiful thing to do on your part. Do you see anything that is happy about it? It is bad enough that people litter the landscape, but it is worse that you publicize it.
My sincere congratulations to Robert F. Jones on a fine article on Emerson Fittipaldi (New Boy in an Old Man's Game, Oct. 2). He has won his first championship, which should pave the way for many more. The "Whoa" of S�o Paulo is on his way.
San Jose, Calif.