Frank Deford's article (More Dark Clouds Over Montreal, July 19) underscores your high standard of journalism. If the parties involved in the Olympic disputes could, or would, view the issues as clearly as Deford has presented them, the future of the Games would surely be brighter.
THOMAS K. PATTON
It seems unlikely that the U.S. would ever withdraw from the Olympics because a matter of principle outweighed other concerns. But for the 1980 Games in Moscow, perhaps we ought to consider an alternative, should a Taiwan- Canada-type problem arise. Wearing whatever uniforms seem appropriate, let's be the first country to voluntarily march in the opening ceremony under the IOC flag. Perhaps the idea will catch on.
I deeply regret that your July 19 issue contained only a paragraph in FOR THE RECORD on the death of a great person and baseball authority, Thomas Austin Yawkey. I realize that space is limited but Tom Yawkey deserved more. We loved him here in New England, and if ever a Hall of Great Human Beings is developed Mr. Yawkey should be the first one in it.
It is always interesting to read articles about little-known records such as Steve Weitzman's Larceny Is Not in His Heart (July 19) on Earl Williams breaking the mark for not stealing bases. But did he? The article states that Dick Stuart batted 3,408 consecutive times before stealing a base and, if this is true, then Stuart, not Williams, should be the holder of this somewhat dubious record since Williams has only 2,520 at bats. Perhaps you meant that the record should belong to a player who has not stolen a base at all in his career. In this case, should Williams steal a base before he retires, the record would revert to Russ Nixon, thus calming his state of shock.
Barbara Henckel may have "a great eye" as you say (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, July 19), but someone in your organization could use a little help with his or hers.
Scott May was erroneously identified as a basketball star from North Carolina. Thousands of Hoosiers are surely having palpitations over this bit of misinformation. I'm sure North Carolina would have been delighted to have had Mr. May, but, nevertheless, he did play for Indiana, the current NCAA champions.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
? Scott May was rounded up from North Carolina where he was practicing with the Olympic team.—ED.
ON THE TRAIL
Thank you for Miffed and Also Mulish (July 12). We were in Frankfort, N.Y. to see the start of the Great American Horse Race, but until we read your article we had been unable to get an updated account as to who was leading and to what point the competitors had progressed.
In SCORECARD (July 19) you accurately reported on the proposed changes to the Los Angeles Coliseum (adding football seats but removing the track). Please don't count us out. The architect promises that when (if) the 1984 Olympic Games are awarded to Los Angeles, the track can be reinstalled.
JOHN C. ARGUE
TIME TO STRIKE OUT
I agree with Gene Mauch's comment in SCORECARD (July 19): "I've seen more inferior umpiring so far this season than I saw in 16 years as a manager in the National League." The umpiring in the American League is horrendous. TV instant replay makes this plain. When is Lee MacPhail going to make some changes? Last year it was Frank Robinson who took it on the chin for his comments on the subject. How long do we have to wait? Baseball's problems are manifold, and American League umpiring certainly belongs at the top of the list.
Pomfret Center, Conn.