I don't know if I love Bill Lee or hate him, but one thing's for sure—he's interesting!
Bill Lee is not only a proven pitcher but he also does an excellent job as a substitute host for various Boston-area radio talk shows. I think Lee is a better host than his loudest critics, Clif Keane and Larry Claflin. Some of their criticism may be jealousy.
ATHLETES AND PRESIDENTS
When reader Saul Behar asked, "Do David Thompson, O. J. Simpson or Larry Hisle deserve to earn more than Jimmy Carter?" (19TH HOLE, Aug. 7), he inspired me to poll 100 people in the Tuscaloosa ( Ala.) area. The results: 64 said yes, they do; 24 thought anyone deserved to earn more than Carter; and 12 thought Bear Bryant was President.
I am reminded of Babe Ruth's reputed answer when someone asked him if he deserved to be making more than President Herbert Hoover: "Why not? I had a better year than he did."
DAVID A. SMITH
The letter from John Kelly Karasek (19TH HOLE, Aug. 7) is a classic example of what happens when a man's education exceeds his intelligence. He chose to ridicule the assertion that Busch Stadium's artificial turf could cause baseballs to "accelerate after they hit the ground." He is, of course, correct in thinking that there are laws of physics that pertain to conservation of energy. But he neglected to remember that a bat striking a ball might impart an energy of rotation as well as energy of translation to the ball. This is especially true of a ground ball, which very well might have been topped by the bat. So it is entirely possible that a ground ball would be accelerated upon contact with the synthetic turf by conversion of some of the energy of rotation into energy of translation. The learned Mr. Karasek owes an apology to the St. Louis scorers, who use their eyes to watch baseballs bouncing rather than to read only half of their physics books.
In response to your article A Bonny Victory (July 24), I should like to point out that although the British and American press emphasized the toll the Road Hole exacted from the likes of Arnold Palmer, Severiano Ballesteros, Tsuneyuki Nakajima, Simon Owen and others during the British Open, they did not report on " Rocky Thompson's Revenge." Thompson, a longtime bit player on the U.S. tour, holed out in seven on the Road Hole on Saturday morning. He proceeded to the 18th tee, but then returned to the 17th green, the Road Hole, and, using his putter as a simulated machine gun, sprayed the green with "bullets" for at least half a minute, wreaking sweet revenge. The huge crowd at the 17th green reacted with stunned silence, then laughed in communal sympathy.
RUSSELL C. PALMER
West Hartford, Conn.
THE CHAMP (CONT.)
Bruce Newman's article on Leon Spinks was the most objective piece yet printed about the champion (Sometimes a Guy's Gotta Swoop, July 24).
Followers of Spinks know of his recurring problems with the law. Newman did not trample the subject, but rather let Spinks try to explain his urges to "swoop" and "boogie-woogie-oogie."
Who are we to judge what Leon Spinks does with his money? Why is he a lesser champion because he has flirtations with women other than his wife? Spinks came from a disadvantaged environment and, at an age when even highly educated men are struggling with life's decisions, had international celebrity thrust upon him. Why should a 24-year-old be held accountable for his every action?
I am an average sports fan. I am not an intellectual who tries to dig deeply into the guts of American sport. For those reasons I applaud Newman's treatment of Spinks. Let us judge Spinks the boxer. I for one am inspired by what he has done in the ring. And that is how it should be.