Neil Leifer's picture of the "discussion" at home plate during Game I of the New York-Boston series says it all (Yankee Doodle Series Was a Dandy, May 31). I've long felt that Billy Martin was one of the very best managers in baseball, and being a diehard Yankee fan, I'm glad he's back in pinstripes. He's got them off and running, and evidently when it comes to using their dukes, he's given a few pointers on that score, too.
MICHAEL ALAN EDDY
Your most enjoyable article captured a certain playoff type of excitement that lately has been missing from the Yankee scene. New York is a patsy team no longer.
Forest Hills, N.Y.
In my opinion, Larry Keith took cheap shots at the Red Sox and belittled their achievements. Your picture caption emphasized Rick Burleson's contribution to the brawl. Fine. However, you failed to make note of Mickey Rivers ambushing Bill Lee. I know New York is a good ball team and they are in first. But why didn't they dispose of Lee by means of their baseball skill rather than their "boxing" skill?
JAMES T. HORNSTEIN
I was totally disgusted by the fight. In my mind the real villains were Mickey Rivers and Graig Nettles, who with their newly discovered talent could make the Philadelphia Flyers.
The middle of a brawl like that is no place for a team's only left-handed starter to be.
Hockey in May? Ridiculous. Basketball in June? Impossible. But the Yankees and Red Sox fighting as of old, that is beautiful. It must be almost summertime.
JOHN F. TRIPP
I am fed up with your cutting down Philadelphia teams. Serge Savard of the Montreal Canadiens says, "The Flyers were the worst thing to happen to hockey" (SCORECARD, May 31), and you say Savard may be right. The Flyers play a rough, aggressive game and it won them two Stanley Cups. I don't see how Savard can say this with Larry Robinson on his team. And when the Yankees and Red Sox clear the bench, you call it "dandy."
The Canadiens' Stanley Cup victory was a gratifying conclusion to a season of disgrace for the National Hockey League. The Montreal skaters proved what real fans have known all along: the best hockey is clean hockey, in which any aggressiveness takes the form of hard but clean checking. Do you think there is any chance of league moguls, coaches and players catching on?
CONSTANCE O. YANKUS
I agree with Bobby Hull (Bobby Shows Gordie How, May 31). Hockey is getting too violent. And the same can be said of basketball, thanks to such teams and people as the Boston Celtics and Coach Tom Heinsohn. Hockey and basketball are games that should rely on outpositioning, outshooting, outskating (or outrunning) and outpassing the opposition. A fine example of a true basketball player is Julius Erving. Dr. J led his New York Nets to the ABA title via his amazing maneuvers, not by outmuscling others.
J. J. ROGERS
CHARLIE AND FLIPPER
As an employee of a tuna-packing company, I have been sensitive to the biased or incomplete articles on the "porpoise vs. tuna" issue. However, Donald Dale Jackson's The Dolphin Catch—and Catch-22 (May 24) is by far the most fair and comprehensive report on this complicated matter to date. I have distributed copies to my fellow employees, because Jackson has told the story better than we have been able to do ourselves.
DONALD T. MARTINDALE