What does Sparky Anderson mean when he refers to the 1974 Dodgers as a "finesse team" (Beware the Dudes in the Red Hats, June 24)?
At last count, the Dodgers led the National League in practically every offensive category: home runs, team batting average, stolen bases (tied with St. Louis), hits, sacrifice flies and, by far, runs scored.
Their pitchers lead the league in shutouts and ERA; three Dodgers have more RBIs than the Cincinnati leader, and in the current All-Star balloting, Dodgers votes lead just about everywhere—or ought to. Red hats may very well be red faces come September.
Imagine! The Los Angeles Dodgers get off to their best start ever, hold a healthy 6�-game lead over the Reds, and SI has the gall to publish an article that suggests that Cincinnati will finish first in the NL West. How presumptuous! How audacious!
But how accurate! The "Dudes in the Red Hats" will win it again this year.
Thank you for your fine article on one of the best athletes of any age in the world today (So Young and So Untender, June 24). Curry Kirkpatrick said it all in his brilliant piece on the young, bright, hard-hitting tennis star Bjorn Borg of Sweden.
Eaton Rapids, Mich.
While Bjorn Borg may handle most situations with "aplomb," he handles others with a disturbing insensitivity and an altogether unhealthy arrogance. Not unlike those other two youthful darlings of the tennis set, Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors, Borg seems to think the world revolves around his booming service and well-placed backhands. Such self-absorption brings out all too well the fact that although Borg plays tennis with men, he is still a very little boy.
Your article on racquetball was great (The Game Plan Is to Avoid Getting Waffle-faced, June 17)—the best that you have ever done on court sports. However, I wish to correct one misconception. As Steve Serot's coach, I can attest to the fact that he is an excellent right-handed baseball pitcher. He plays handball with the right hand as dominant, swings a baseball bat from the right side, holds his fork in his left hand and cuts his steak with the right. His left forearm has an unusually large radial and olecranon bone formation, which gives Steve an advantage over other players when performing strokes with that arm, especially the backhand.
The flailing you speak of in Steve's game is not flailing at all, but strokes that are the result of conscious endeavor and practice and understanding. At 18, Steve is just beginning to become a mature racquetball player. There's no doubt that he will become champion and reign for many, many years.
I want to congratulate Curry Kirkpatrick on his fine coverage of and introduction to the sport of racquetball. I have been playing racquetball at college in West Virginia for three years. When people ask how I while away my idle hours after class and I reply racquetball, they look at me as if I have two heads. Maybe after reading this article people can now understand why I'm so excited about this tremendous sport. By the way, Peggy Steding might look like "the substitute waitress at a truck stop," but there's no way I ever want to step onto the same court with her!
L. ROBERT HALKOVICH
Parkersburg, W. Va.