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August 29, 2005
Getting Ready
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August 29, 2005


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Dr. Joseph Russ, Marco Island, Fla.

Excusing Palmeiro for not "knowingly" using a banned substance would send scores of athletes to their personal trainers, saying "make me better, just don't tell me how." Maybe they're already doing that.

Jeff Stillman, Waterford, Mich.

Coach on Trial

Reading your article on coach Mark Downs, who has been charged with asking one of his players to hit an autistic teammate with a ball and put him out of a Tee-ball game (Scorecard, Aug. 8), reminds of what I recently saw at a supermarket. A youngster, about 12 years old, was wearing a T-shirt that said: I PUT QUARTERBACKS´┐ŻON THE DISABLED LIST! It made me wonder what message, if any, the coaches and parents are sending to these young minds.

Dic Ver Hage, Wyckoff, N.J.

My grandson, who is autistic and soon to be four, has never spoken a word, does not respond to his name and is restricted to a special diet. But despite his neurological, sensory and social deficiencies, he shows more common sense and compassion than Downs, who allegedly offered to pay a child to throw a ball at an autistic teammate. Maybe families of autistic kids should take up a collection to pay Roger Clemens to throw one at Downs.

Edward C. Golden, Northridge, Calif.

What about Bob?

I've read your magazine for more than 40 years, have enjoyed it immensely, but have never been overwhelmed by an article the way I was by Frank Deford's story about Bob Feller (Rapid Robert Can Still Bring It, Aug. 8). I have been an avid baseball fan for more then 50 years, but Deford showed me several things I did not know about the game or about Feller. I now understand why Feller is Feller, and why Deford is Deford. They are both simply the best at what they do.

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