If the major league umpire holdout lasts any longer, I think Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn should give the umps a raise and take the money from the salaries of league presidents Chub Feeney and Lee MacPhail (They're Out! April 16). Their plantation-owner mentality is reminiscent of the attitude of the owners toward the players before the players demanded and got salaries commensurate with the owners' profits.
The farce that the substitute umps are making of game after game puts the lie to any suggestion that the regular umpires aren't needed. I, for one, hope the umpires hold out until the league presidents are embarrassed into doing what they should do out of common decency.
New York City
I am sympathetic to the request of the major league umpires for higher pay. Baseball umpires work many more games and are away from their families for a much longer period than pro basketball officials, who are earning substantially more.
Like basketball officials, baseball umpires are professionals. Their job is thankless and not easy. Therefore, I think their requests are legitimate. It's time umpires were heard.
JAMES MAIR JR.
Lisbon Falls, Maine
The umpire holdout brings to mind the reply Tim Hurst, an early (1890s) umpire, made when asked about his job: "You can't beat them hours." And you still can't. Throw in $30,000 (average pay) for seven months' work, and here's one fan who sheds no tears for the umpires.
LOPEZ & CO.
Your article A Pretty Post Pattern (April 16) was a little disturbing, because, as usual, Nancy Lopez was the main subject. Certainly Lopez is a great golfer, but so are Sandra Post, JoAnne Carner, Pat Bradley, Donna White, Judy Rankin and others. It is unfortunate that, among other players, prejudice against Lopez does exist, but it is not nearly as pervasive as the press, the television networks and even Ray Volpe, the commissioner of women's golf, imply. Volpe's suggestion that the other professionals "quit complaining and acting like a bunch of women" was a very low blow to their integrity. The other professionals are only fighting for their fair share of recognition.
Barry McDermott's article about Sandra Post's Colgate-Dinah Shore victory proves that Nancy Lopez does indeed command the lion's share of attention on the LPGA tour. However, it also proves that it isn't necessarily Lopez' fault. How can she be held accountable for what the press prints or what the fans think?
I've been a golfer for years but never gave a darn about the LPGA Tour (or the PGA Tour, for that matter) until Lopez came along and pepped things up a little. Now, as a byproduct of following Lopez, I have come to know Post, Carner, Rankin, Whitworth. Mann et al. The women of the tour should light candles for Lopez every night.
Do the LPGA players want publicity or not? First they were jealous of Laura Baugh and Jan Stephenson, and now they are jealous of Nancy Lopez. Much of the money and prestige that Sandra Post pocketed after winning the Colgate-Dinah Shore is the direct result of the popularity of the player who finished second—Lopez.
Wilmer Ames' sensitive approach to the story of Washington, D.C.'s inner-city, all-black weight-lifting team (An Uplifting Experience, April 16) was greatly appreciated. After five years of functioning in obscurity, the Crushers Unlimited have finally been spotlighted. With further help coming from people like Rick Robinson of the Montgomery County (Md.) Department of Recreation, the Crusher story will not end with SI coverage. The most significant pleasure of the story for me was realizing that a national magazine of the magnitude of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED found the time and space to cover a warming story about an unfamiliar group in an unfamiliar sport. You gave credit to a man—Bob Thompson—who is making a big difference. There are hundreds more like him out there. Keep finding them.
ALLAN D. EISEL