TOO MUCH OF THE SAME
I watch as many baseball games as I can on TV, but every week the same teams dominate the screen: the Reds, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers. Everyone likes a winner, but repetition is boring. I'd rather see young and coming teams like Cleveland, Milwaukee or Chicago as well as teams you never see, like Montreal, Oakland and San Diego.
No wonder the starting lineups for this year's All-Star Game again will not be truly representative. Half of America thinks only four teams play in the majors.
It takes a runner to write about running, to identify with those who go 10 miles a day in training. Kenny Moore's recent articles on the world cross-country championships and the AAU meet plus his profile on Lasse Viren (An Enigma Wrapped in Glory, June 27) substantiate his expert grasp of the sport.
Kenny Moore has settled some very controversial questions. I am now convinced Viren was not guilty of "blood doping" at last year's Olympics. If Viren's hemoglobin count is between 15.4 and 15.6, then blood doping would most likely detract from Viren's performances rather than enhance them.
It seems as though he geared his training to assure "peaking" for both the '72 and '76 Games. As Viren admits, he established his top priorities—the gold medals—and chose not to take the non-Olympic years too seriously.
WILLIAM A. MARKS
Why can't the world look upon Lasse Viren as a fine, expensive watch? Let him run and do not demand to know what makes him tick.
MARTIN D. DUTILLY
Kincheloe AFB, Mich.
Sam Moses begins The Man in the Fiber Glass Mask (June 27) with a splendid touch of humility, then goes off into a one-sided criticism of Johnny Rutherford, both as a driver and as a person, using subtle but distinctly offensive methods. For example, in the heart of the article he begins referring to Johncock as "Gordy," but he refers to Rutherford as " Rutherford," a distinction that tends to make the reader feel more receptive to Johncock. The word for Johncock's childlike moodiness is insecurity, not "ingenuousness." Rutherford may not be the greatest USAC driver, but Johncock isn't even in his class.
Thank you. Being a Patrick Racing Team fan, I have gotten close to Gordy and have come to know him fairly well. He is a true champion, whether he wins a complete Indy 500 or not. When a man like Johncock wins, people don't think much of it. But he has finished ahead of men like A. J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Al and Bobby Unser, Wally Dallenbach, Tom Sneva, Mario Andretti, etc. So Gordon Johncock is a champion and Johnny Rutherford is still a runner-up.
In the June 27 19TH HOLE, Ronald E. Coolidge took issue with your projection of the home-run total that will result from use of the live ball. SI calculated that the average per team in the 1977 season would be 117 home runs. Mr. Coolidge disagreed, contending that the average would be much higher—136 per team. SI has statistical weight in its favor.
Mr. Coolidge arrived at his figure by assuming, not unnaturally, that the rate of home runs remains constant during an entire season. In fact, it does not. In the first 616 games of 1976, for instance, the average rate of home runs per game was 1.24. In the remaining 68% of the season, however, the home-run rate dropped to only 1.11 per game—more than 10% lower. Larry Keith, no doubt, took this into account in projecting a total for the entire 1977 season and arrived at his correct estimate of 117 per team.
New York City