I am disgusted with Jerry Kirshenbaum's editorial entitled "Back to the Dark Ages" in the SCORECARD section of your July 11 issue.
As a Dodger fan, I believe Steve Howe should be banned from baseball for life. There has to be an end to drug abuse so an example can be set for the youth of our country.
The point of view in "Back to the Dark Ages" really made me mad. I don't really care what the AMA says about chemical dependency (alcohol and drugs) being an illness. It isn't an illness. It's a weakness—a weakness of the will. Every human being, average person or professional athlete, has to determine what he or she will or will not do. That's life, Please, no more cop-outs for Steve Howe or anyone else! I never had given Bowie Kuhn or the L.A. Dodgers much thought, but I respect them for this. I have some expertise in the area of human psychology, being a coach of 11 years with a master's degree.
Rio Frio, Texas
Labeling Steve Howe's cocaine usage as "disease" and the Dodgers' $53,867 assessment as ill-advised "punishment" was pure cop-out. What about Howe's responsibility for getting involved in the first place? And what are the Dodgers supposed to do? Reward the man for a month of doing nothing?
It's about time someone stood up and said, "Drug use is wrong, and we are going to deal harshly with people who use drugs." When that is understood, you will not have to worry about athletes coming out of the closet to put themselves in clinics.
If Steve Howe had a real job in the real world, his drug use would probably have resulted in a loss of employment, at least, and perhaps a term in jail.
KEVIN D. SPEAKS
?For further discussion of the Howe matter, see page 9.—ED.
Thanks very much for your story on Wimbledon '83 (A Giant Stride Ahead of the Field, July 11). John McEnroe demonstrated what a class tennis player he is by destroying his opponents throughout the fortnight. No matter what the other players think of Mac, he's about to move to the top of the computer rankings again. If the last part of 1983 is like the first, McEnroe should be an overwhelming choice for your Sportsman of the Year.
JAY R. THOMAS JR.
Strawberries and cream to Curry Kirkpatrick for his article on Wimbledon. Despite having so many matches and odd turns of events to discuss, Kirkpatrick wove his biting satire throughout his piece, leaving me with a vivid, patchwork quilt of a report on tennis' main event. Adding to my enjoyment was the decisive victory by McEnroe. You're right, SI, Super Mac was never better. Connors was great, but that was in the past.
This year McEnroe proved to me, and himself, that he could play terrific tennis and keep his temper in the locker room. Nice going, John—keep it up!
BRUCE A. TRINCA