Congratulations to Mark Mulvoy on his article about the Red Sox (Strangers in Paradise, Aug. 26). What is perhaps most exciting about this team is the sense of continuity we're finally getting. Not only are Dwight Evans, Rick Burleson, Cecil Cooper el al. doing the job in Boston, but the Pawtucket ( R.I.) farm team, which has just supplied the Sox with Outfielder Jim Rice, has some other outstanding players. I hesitate to term them surefire major-leaguers (call it the reluctance of a hardened Red Sox fan), but the current Fenway starters are beginning to notice the pressure from below.
This year feels better than 1967. Then we knew it was nothing more than a wonderful, one-shot affair with destiny. Now we know better. Maybe.
As a lad of five in 1939 I adopted the Red Sox as my team, and I've been a faithful fan ever since. But these Red Sox have speed, which the teams of the '40s, '50s and '60s always lacked. Hats off to Owner Tom Yawkey, Manager Darrell Johnson, the team and all the million-plus loyal Red Sox fans of America. The A's can be dethroned this year.
DANIEL GREEN, D.D.S.
Since when does geographical place of residence dictate where a person's baseball loyalties lie? I hate to upset Mark Mulvoy's system, but I live in Connecticut, a state I always thought was a component of that section called New England. Yet the Red Sox do not have me on Elysian pins and needles—or on any other type of pins and needles, for that matter. In fact, you'd have to classify me as one of their most loyal enemies.
As for calling Dwight Evans the best right-fielder in the American League, how can Mulvoy overlook Reggie Jackson, Jeff Burroughs and Bobby Darwin, not to mention Bobby Murcer, who had 12 assists in his first 52 games after moving from center to right?
In the future, I suggest you be more careful of using the word all, as in "all New England," because there is always an exception. I am a Yankee fan.
Reggie Jackson received the most votes of any player ever in All-Star balloting this year—there are people who say he should have received even more votes—and now Mark Mulvoy is trying to tell us that Dwight Evans (who?), a .290 hitter, is the best right-fielder in the American League. That's preposterous!
How can you call Dwight Evans the best rightfielder in the league? Charlie Spikes of Cleveland has more home runs, more runs batted in and has developed into a steady .290 hitter. Also, his fielding and running ability put him on a par with, if not above, Evans. Boston may have a good team, but it doesn't have the best rightfielder in the league. Cleveland has.
Your excellent article on the Red Sox reminded me that once again baseball's foolish divisional setup has robbed fans of a climactic pennant race between two excellent teams. As of Aug. 21 Boston and Oakland had almost identical records, with the A's coming into Fenway for a three-game series. Since each team was leading its division by a healthy margin, however, the significance of the series was greatly diminished. Similar situations existed in the American League in 1971 and 1973.
This should indicate even to baseball's myopic owners that the divisional system is reducing, not increasing, the number of pennant races. Those that it has produced have been bogus races among mediocre teams: witness the National League East. A similar race in 1972 involving the Red Sox was greeted by Boston fans with a yawn, because the team was not of championship caliber.