One admirable quality about Finley is his consistency. But the constant deterioration of his franchises and his knack for alienating both his players and his teams' fans aren't admirable. If the right people are doing the selling, one can sell anything to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
I hope that the other owners and the American League won't attempt to bail Finley out of his current mess. Maybe the embarrassing situation that he faces with the Coliseum will teach him a lesson.
I believe that the other American League owners must do their part to oust Charles Finley, otherwise the A's franchise will never again amount to anything. Baseball's brass hats never act unless alerted by a sudden weightless feeling in their pocketbooks. A few more red-ink-stained trips out here, however, should convince them that it is in their interest to buy the club from Finley and sell it to someone ready, willing and able to run it correctly. As long as Finley owns the club, the A's will continue to be an embarrassment not only to the Bay Area, but also to the league—despite the efforts of the young, hustling Oakland players, who deserve better.
In your article you said, "Once inside [the Oakland Coliseum], the odds on catching a foul ball are much better than anywhere else." That is so true. Last year I caught five foul balls during one game. That's the only reason I go to A's games—for foul balls. As for the A's, who cares? I'm a Giants fan.
FATHERS AND SONS
I appreciated your article on decathlon historian and figure filbert Frank Zarnowski (He's Every Inch a Decathnut, May 7). I am an ardent fan of the decathlon, and my roommate, David Lee Steen, is Canada's and the University of California's premier competitor in this grueling competition.
Zarnowski cites the Mulkeys—Phil and Phil Jr.—of the U.S. as the world's father-son decathlon champions, with a combined total of 14,548 points. He further claims that the Jewlews, senior and junior, of the U.S.S.R., are second with an aggregate of 14,451 points. After your article was published, my roommate scored 7,647 points in the Pac-10 decathlon championships in Tempe, Ariz. on May 16-17. Add this to the 6,860 points Dave's father, Donald Steen, scored in Eugene, Ore. on May 4-5, 1957, and the Steens, with a total of 14,507, surely outpoint the second-place Soviets.
Additionally, Donald Steen's total was based on the 1950 scoring tables. If you convert his marks to today's tables, I believe that the Steens have the world father-son record.
Thanks for your article on Ty Stofflet (This Guy Can Rise It, Drop It and Pop It at 104 mph. May 28). As a dabbler in the art of fast-pitch softball hurling, I can appreciate his sacrifices and admire his accomplishments.
It was also encouraging to see coverage of the fast-pitch game, which requires much more skill and dedication than does its more popular counterpart, slow-pitch.
Perhaps, in time, fast-pitch will regain popularity. Until then, we fast-pitch players can take solace in the fact that our game is a sport, while slow-pitch is just a recreation.