With his ongoing
excellence and clean reputation, no player is as important to baseball as
Albert Pujols. If drug allegations were raised against Pujols, the sport would
be shaken to its very foundations. Whom could fans then look up to without
suspicion? Until his injury, Pujols seemed on his way to another MVP award and
the Triple Crown. May he return quickly.
Brance Wilson, Lockney, Texas
You don't need to
hype Albert Pujols as the next home run king to get our attention (A Swing of
Beauty, May 22). Pure baseball fans aren't obsessed with home runs; we're more
impressed with players who lead by example, who respect the game, hit for
average, drive in runs and make great defensive plays. Pujols does all of that.
Before you tout him as the next Sultan of Swat, at least wait until he has 50
home runs--at the All-Star break.
Chad Sypkens, Hillside, Ill.
First, you called
Barry Bonds and others immoral if they took steroids to improve their game.
Then you declare on the cover, ALL HAIL THE NEXT HOME RUN KING, referring to
Pujols. Isn't this adulation the very reason that players inject: because we
will always hail the next home run king?
Shane Sanders, Manhattan, Kans.
frames seven through 12 from David E. Klutho's sequence of photographs of
Pujols's swing to help teach the nine-year-olds I coach here at Canada's
Baseball Hall of Fame. Those frames show Pujols's eyes completely focused on
the point of contact. This brilliant illustration has my team members trying to
swing the way baseball's most prolific hitter does. Now if I could just get
them to quit running like hockey players.
Tom Valcke, President and CEO
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, St. Mary's, Ont.
Not so fast in
proclaiming Albert Pujols the "greatest all-around hitter since Ted
Williams." While the stats Pujols has accumulated during his first five
years are impressive, they're not significantly different from those Frank
Thomas racked up over his first seven full seasons. According to their 162-game
averages--to take into account the games that Thomas lost because of the 1994
lockout--Pujols had 41 home runs, 127 RBIs and hit .332, while Thomas had 40
homers, 131 RBIs and a .330 average.
Chuck Hadden, Arlington, Va.
I found it
interesting that in your chart of career home runs (Fast-forward, May 22),
Barry Bonds's total was marked by an asterisk. Never mind that it was there
only to note that the figures included home runs through May 14; it was still
nice to see an asterisk by Bonds's numbers and none next to the totals of Hank
Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. If that's how it should look later, why not
Austin Hughes, Atwater, Calif.
I took note of the
asterisk on your May 15 Bonds cover. You couldn't have known it when you went
to press, but a cover headline on the May 22 issue also begged for an asterisk:
JUSTIN GATLIN: FASTEST MAN ON THE PLANET*. (*Actually only tied the 100-meter
Eric Maddy, Huntington Beach, Calif.
A Gentleman and a