Thanks to Tom
Verducci for writing what many baseball traditionalists believe: that the
wild-card era has robbed the World Series of its integrity (A Series of Unusual
Events, Oct. 30). It's no longer a match between the best teams in each league.
Second place—or mediocrity in the case of the Cardinals—is good enough to get
in, and the commissioner, far from being embarrassed, is happy to keep the F ox
TV money rolling in.
Michael Bink, Northville, Mich.
Does the regular
season mean anything anymore? The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl as the
No. 6 seed from the AFC; George Mason reached the Final Four as an 11th seeded
mid-major; the Edmonton Oilers got to the Stanley Cup finals as the eighth and
final seed in the West with only a. 500 regular-season record; and now the St.
Louis Cardinals earn a trip to the World Series with only 83 wins.
Joseph Ragozzino, Passaic, N.J.
Count me among
the thousands of Americans you hear applauding Rick Reilly's comments on the
BALCO fiasco and the price the two reporters are likely to pay (Life of Reilly,
Oct. 30). I would like to think that the mail Reilly gets could be bundled and
shipped to the Oval Office—accompanied by someone who would read it and explain
it to the president.
J. R. Hudson, West Des Moines
fathers recognized—and put in the U.S. Constitution—the need for a strong
press. The press, however, like every institution created in the name of
freedom and democracy, is limited by rules and laws. When members of the press
come to believe that they know better than the law and that the end justifies
the means, then the risk of the fourth estate's abusing its enormous power is
too great. It may not be fair if the two reporters go to jail, but it is the
law, and personally, I'd rather see that than a press or a government (see
Nixon, Richard M.) that believes laws are merely behavioral suggestions and can
be ignored in favor of a personal agenda. By the way, I also agree that these
guys deserve a Pulitzer Prize.
Peter V. Gelderman, Trumbull, Conn.
I'm only 13, but
I don't understand how the Giants' Barry Bonds gets to break home run records
while the Chronicle's Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams are likely to spend
18 months in prison. Ridiculous.
Ben Bartelmay, New Buffalo, Mich.
uncovered the answers to some of the burning questions that have been keeping
me up at night: Who is responsible for the BALCO steroid scandal? And who is
responsible for the two San Francisco Chronicle reporters' breaking the law and
subsequently being sentenced to prison? Now, thanks to Reilly, we know. Is it
Victor Conte? No. Is it the two reporters themselves? No! It's George W. Bush!
I agree with Mr. Reilly. Let's look the other way and completely ignore the law
concerning the disclosure of grand jury testimony. Perhaps, then, these two
reporters can remain at liberty to investigate whether President Bush is also
responsible for the pine tar smear on Kenny Rogers's hand, Terrell Owens's
overdose and the Bowl Championship Series.
R.T. Christopher, Wilmington, Del.
on Fainaru-Wada and Williams is a public service. Perhaps they'll win the
Pulitzer while they're in jail. Surely justice and decency will eventually
Margye S. Baumgardner, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
I enjoyed Michael
Farber's Farm-Fresh, NHL Ready (Oct. 30) about the four Staal brothers: Eric,
Marc, Jordan and Jared, the first and third of whom are already playing in the
NHL. I'm not a hockey enthusiast, but every true sports fan can appreciate kids
who are "impervious to the lung-searing Ontario winter"—or those who
take batting practice in 100� weather, scrape snow off the basketball court or
are willing to tackle a football carrier into a mud hole. It's nice to know
there are still some young athletes who are committed to sports and to being
good citizens. Thank you, Mr. Farber.
Jay Kennedy, Frankfort, Kans.