Since major league baseball already has 24 teams and is contemplating adding more, I think that something ought to be done about expanding the playoff format.
Being an avid fan of the Dodgers, I was naturally disappointed last year when they finished with the third-best record in the majors but were unable to enter the NL playoffs simply because the team with the best record- Cincinnati-was in the same division. I would suggest that four or even five teams be allowed to compete in the playoffs in each league, giving teams such as the Dodgers a chance to prove themselves, and boosting attendance in cities with good baseball teams that can't quite make it to the top. This would make for more exciting finishes and eliminate any "who cares, we were out of it anyway" attitudes a player or team might have.
In a four-team playoff the two divisional leaders would meet the two second-place teams in a two-out-of-three series, with the winners playing three out of five. In a five-team playoff a third-place, wild-card team would compete, with the team with the best record exempt from playing in the first round.
I say let's get on the ball and dump the old system fast.
San Jose, Calif.
I am a longtime subscriber for my sons and grandsons, and was very dismayed to see the 10-page story about the Taiwan Little League teams [Going to Bat for Taiwan, Aug. 19). I think in all fairness you should have waited until after the playoffs to print such a glowing report.
Couldn't you imagine how our Little Leaguers would react to such a story? I think it showed in their playing (Chinatown. Oh, my, Chinatown. Sept. 2). Next year, if the Taiwanese are in the playoffs, it would be a good idea to hold off on your report so our American kids won't be scared to death when they meet them. This is not only my opinion but also my grandsons', and they play Little League ball.
Concerning Peter Carry's well-written article on the Taiwan Little Leaguers, Taiwan has won every one of its World Series titles through hard work and practice, something American Little Leaguers would rather not do because of other sports, television and, of course, girls. Most of the outstanding U.S. Little League teams of the past have consisted of one or two solid, talented, hardworking pitchers and eight other players who stood around and prayed the ball would not be hit to them. If the Americans are tired of losing, they should get off their apathy and put together a nine-man team that can beat Taiwan—Huang Ching-hui or no Huang Ching-hui.
K. C. WHALEN
Every year it's the same thing, an article on an Oklahoma football player (Don't Tinker with This Kid Brother, Aug. 26). You guys are really stuck on them—Jack Mildren, Steve Owens, Greg Pruitt, the Selmons and now, in your seemingly endless series of Sooners, comes Tinker Owens. Give us a break! There is still only one Big Red, and that is the team you always have snubbed: Nebraska.
White Bear Lake, Minn.
The Sooners will rise to the occasion once again and prove to the nation how tremendous they really are. And Tinker will have a tremendous year.
NEARLY A MISS
Congratulations to Jack Curtis (Just a Babe in the Woods, Aug. 26) for lowering hunters another few notches in the public's esteem.