Ron Fimrite's article on come-from-behind baseball races (Begging for a Miracle, Aug. 16) was informative and conjured up a lot of "ifs." I got the greatest kick from the two-page color photo of Frank Taveras on his knees at second base with the perplexed look of a man who feels he is safe but has just been thrown out. Look behind Taveras. There's the circular symbol of the Philadelphia Phillies. It's almost as if the Phillies were a Big Brother-type power hovering over Three Rivers Stadium, making sure the Pirates stay where they are.
Could it be that Frank Taveras is pleading for mercy from the symbol over his head?
If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then that photograph is worth a million. To portray an entire season in one shot is a work of art.
HENRY D. JONES
Reading Ron Fimrite's fine article made me wonder if baseball has too few playoff games. Out of 24 teams, only four can compete in postseason play. I believe baseball should follow pro basketball's lead and have at least the top two finishers in each division compete in the playoffs.
JOE M. BOSSO
BOTTLES AND CANS (CONT.)
SI's venture into the world of bottles and cans (The Point of No Returns, Aug. 2) is as one-sided a piece of reporting as has been done on this issue since Oregon put its famous "bottle bill" into effect in 1972.
Apparently lost on SI's writer is the fact that the Yosemite Park experiment is part of an attempt by the federal EPA to force a return to deposit containers for all beer and soft drinks. The same tired arguments advanced in the article have been used for the past five years by those who seek a simplistic solution to a complex problem.
The answer to litter is to educate those who do the littering—not to tamper with a packaging system that has brought low-cost beverages to millions and employment to hundreds of thousands. And if, under the deposit system, the return rate at Yosemite is 76%, as SI says, then 24 out of every 100 bottles are still out there with the bears. That's no bargain energywise or any other way.
JOHN F. MCGOLDRICK
Director of Communications
American Can Company
Jerry Uhrhammer compounds the problem by polarizing the issue. We concur with all environmentally concerned people on the goals that must be met. We differ primarily on the methods of achieving these goals.
Uhrhammer cites a source stating that beverage-related litter in Oregon was reduced substantially during the first years of the Oregon bottle law. He does not state, however, that overall litter was reduced by less than 11%. The debate over the Oregon bill created a high level of publicity. The United States Brewers Association has long maintained that consistent information and education contribute a great deal to the public's ability to change littering habits. In this regard, the author misses the significance of what the spokesman from Willamette National Forest was saying when he was quoted: "The bottle bill has created an emphasis...an awareness."
Uhrhammer states that jobs were created because of the Oregon law. He does not point out that skilled jobs were lost.