Until San Diego acquires some veterans to aid its ailing defense, watching one of the Chargers' games will still be like watching a nuclear war: a lot of offense, no defense and no real winner.
Panama City, Fla.
Frank Deford's updater on the Chicago White Sox pitching staff was excellent (Some Like It Hot, Aug. 22). The hurlers are the main reason the Sox are in first place in the West. We in the Chicago area have known this, but now, thanks to Deford, the whole nation knows.
I dispute one thing in that issue, though: In INSIDE PITCH under "Ball Park Figures," Herm Weiskopf lists the Angels' Daryl Sconiers as a rookie All-Star at first base. I believe that the White Sox' Greg Walker is the better of the two. Just look at their current stats: Walker has a .264 batting average, eight home runs and 48 RBIs, while Sconiers is batting .259, has eight home runs and 38 RBIs.
Oak Lawn, Ill.
Frank Deford's article on the Chicago pitching staff was as hot as the White Sox have been in the last couple of months. I question only one thing: Deford's concluding statement that they might even be good enough to play in the American League East. Wrong. They are good enough to play in the East—and win the Series.
Shame on you, SI. Apparently you don't take your Player of the Week selection seriously anymore (INSIDE PITCH, Aug. 22). How could you overlook a player like the Yankees' Dave Winfield, who hit .406, with nine extra-base hits, including four home runs, and drove in 12 runs that week, and instead choose Oriole Lenn Sakata?
If your choice of Lenn Sakata as Player of the Week for getting two hits against Chicago after going 0 for 66 against the Sox was a joke, it sure didn't make me laugh. If you are going to honor Sakata, give him the Unsung Hero Award. Last year, the Orioles needed a shortstop. Sakata, who is naturally a second baseman, played there and did a terrific job until Cal Ripken took over the position in the middle of the season. During the first half of this season, Baltimore Catcher Joe Nolan fractured his toe and Sakata became one of the backups. He didn't catch in any games, but he was ready in the bullpen if needed. And on the night of Aug. 19, Sakata came up in the bottom of the ninth for his first and only at bat of the game and delivered a base hit that came with two outs and the winning run on second. The run scored.
I loved your Player of the Week item on Lenn Sakata. No one deserved it more than he. They even offered him the ball after his first hit against the White Sox.
KENNETH G. GINANI
Thanks to Demmie Stathoplos for her brilliant article about the U.S. swim team (A Pool Party with Records, Aug. 15). And hooray, too, for Richard Mackson for some of the best photographs I've ever seen in SI. A lot of folks weren't aware of what a good shot the American men have at the gold in Los Angeles. Now perhaps they'll see the light.
Look out, world, here come the Stars and Stripes.
My late husband and I taught our children to be objective in their decisions and opinions. I note that my son. Randy Hart [manager of venue press operations for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee], was quoted in Demmie Stathoplos' article as saying that, except for Tiffany Cohen, our women swimmers will not be favorites in the '84 Olympics. He learned the "objective" lesson well.