ROSE AND RUTHVEN
Regarding your May 28 cover subject, Pete Rose, phooey! Boo! How about Ray Knight, Rose's replacement at third base in Cincinnati? Knight is doing a remarkable job in the field and at the plate and is one of the chief contributors to the rise in the NL West of McNamara's Band. Yea, Ray!
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
I realize your production deadline was closing in and a cover had to be chosen, but since when is a 24-12 baseball team in May more important than the Stanley Cup finals?
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
My congratulations to Bruce Newman for an informative and delightful cover story on Pete Rose (He's the Phillie Fillip). Great job. Great subject.
For those critical fans who feel that Pete Rose is being paid too much for what he does, it's a shame they don't have an opportunity to watch him play.
I just read your article on the Phillies and Dick Ruthven's comments about pitching in Atlanta. Durn! How could Ruthven or anyone else suffer from "terminal boredom" in Atlanta? The sun is always shining, the girls are pretty, the fans are friendly, the players are friendly. It's a great place to be, win or lose.
I was going to write a scathing letter disputing Ruthven's claim that he pitched before "800 fans," but, admittedly, he did pitch before 970 one time. However, the average crowd that saw Ruthven pitch at Atlanta Stadium during his two-plus seasons (1976-78) here was 13,360, and he was 14-17 for those games, which was better than his won-lost record on the road. He also lost the game that 970 attended.
A million people saw a last-place team play last year, and if a million come when we're in last, lots more will come when we're in first. And the Braves will win someday soon—without the help of Dick Ruthven.
CHARLIE'S A's (CONT.)
I applaud Ron Fimrite for his expos�" of the Charlie O. A's (They're Just Mad About Charlie, May 21). The potential was there to build one of the best franchises in major league baseball. In addition, given Finley's records with other professional teams, the current situation in Oakland doesn't seem that surprising.
His other major venture in the Bay Area still has many in National Hockey League circles scratching their heads. He outfitted the Seals in those tacky Kelly-green and California-gold uniforms, complete with green and gold skates. He then had the audacity to nickname them the Golden Seals, as if we couldn't tell that by looking at them. He began his policy of a tight pocketbook in 1972, when he let half his team jump to the World Hockey Association. And he traded other members of his squad to NHL franchises for unproven talent and that old reliable: cash.
In less than four years he put a loser on Oakland ice, a team far worse and much less competitive than the one he had bought in 1970. Finley asked the NHL to take the disaster off his hands, and the league did, later peddling the team off to an eventual death in Cleveland (at the time, no place was considered a worse hockey market than Oakland, but the NHL found one).