HITS AND ERRORS
Congratulations on a superb article on the World Series (Mutiny and a Bounty, Oct. 29). William Leggett described as well as anyone can what I truly believe was the sloppiest Series in history. Only Bud Harrelson, Bert Campaneris and Reggie Jackson kept the so-called best teams in each league alive. And Mike Andrews! That poor guy didn't deserve to be forced into signing a false statement. If every man who made an error in that Series was fired, there wouldn't have been one person left to play.
William Leggett's article told everything there was to tell about the 1973 World Series, except for the most important part. The managers. Dick Williams and Yogi Berra took up the slack left by their teams' not-so-terrific play. Without good managers, Oakland and New York would have been even more embarrassed than they were.
North Kingstown, R.I.
What are you, sports columnists or critics? You sounded as though you were reviewing a new play instead of giving a report on sport's greatest event. I can remember when the World Series was looked upon as an important happening and talked about for months afterward. Now it is laughed at.
Maybe you didn't see the same World Series I saw because I saw two darn good baseball teams doing their best, while sportscasters such as Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek spent their time giving us the lowdown on the latest Charlie Finley caper. I enjoyed the Series and the fantastic plays made by both teams, even though I was for the A's all the way. The A's are winners. They are not freaks, as you make them out to be because of their long hair and mustaches, and I would hardly say that their uniforms are shocking. As for the errors they made, well, name one team in the history of baseball that never had a slipup and I'll eat my baseball. The A's have won the World Series two years straight. They are real pros.
Three Chinese cheers for Ron Fimrite: Fooiee! Fooiee! Fooiee! His so-called articles on the playoffs (Last Tango to Pennantville, Oct. 15) and the World Series (Buffoonery Rampant, Oct. 22) really stunk. Since when is he so perfect? Who cares if the teams bobbled a few balls; watching the Series was 100% better and more exciting than reading Fimrite's stories.
Hobbs, N. Mex.
What Ron Fimrite somewhat pessimistically termed a World Series displaying "more elements of low comedy than high drama" may very well be the saving grace of baseball for many frustrated fans. In recent years the automation of baseball has regrettably made it more of a science than a sport, with the result that the players on the field work in an infallible fashion more closely resembling clockwork than a team of individuals. Cincinnati's impersonal Big Red Machine was hopefully the climax of this transformation. Fans come to the ball park not to witness machines but to see humans, and humans who blunder occasionally, at that. The "buffoonery" in the Series reassured me that ballplayers, even on championship teams, really are still human. It also reestablished the excitement and individualism that used to make baseball what it now is not. Unpredictable is the word. My thanks to the A's and especially the Mets for bringing baseball down to earth again.
Along with millions of other viewers across America, I watched the fifth game of the World Series. I am amazed and dismayed at the cheap way NBC took advantage of its audience and the extremely poor taste in which it advertised its televised hockey games. I am referring to the NBC commercial showing not a 20-foot slap shot or a two-on-one break, but two hockey players slugging each other while the referee, who was trying to break it up, got smashed.
NBC has insulted the minds of America. Do NBC officials really think we care more about how the players fight than how they play? Is this unnecessary violence more apt to get us to watch these games on TV? Just how far are they prepared to go in search of the most effective eye-catcher they can get away with? What will they stop at before they begin to assume some kind of responsibility to their huge audience, many of whom are kids who look up to hockey players as their idols?
West Arlington, Mass.
The Dallas weekly football paper
Bob Lilly's Pro Report (SCORECARD, Oct. 15) won't know how to report this one. The Cowboys lost 30-16 to "a disaster area." Pro Report suggested that Philadelphia be granted 16 first-round draft choices next season. However, I am sure the Eagles will be happy to wait until the 17th pick. The Cowboys could use the first 16 themselves.
Joe Marshall's article Now You See Him, Now You Don't (Oct. 29) was probably the best I have ever read in your magazine. It not only stated the bright side of the sensational season that O. J. Simpson is having but also mentioned the difficult day he had against the Miami Dolphins, gaining only 55 yards, far below his 163-yards-per-game average. Put him behind an experienced offensive line and, barring injuries, I believe it is a safe bet to say that Orenthal James Simpson would be well on his way to becoming the best running back in the history of professional football.
MICHAEL G. VER HAGUE
North Tonawanda, N.Y.