As a longtime fan of Mary Decker's, I am frankly disappointed by her decision not to attempt the middle-distance "double" at the Games (Trials and Jubilation, July 2). Sure, she was edged out in the 1,500 at the Olympic track and field trials. However, she was also only three seconds off her U.S. record in an unexpectedly competitive race, after running a fast 3,000. It may be presumptuous of me to say so, but—assuming she is sound—I would be prouder to see her try for two gold medals and win none than to see her win a single gold medal by means of a strategy intended to maximize her chances. Decker has an opportunity to leave her mark as one of the greats in Olympic history.
DOUGLAS J. GROOME
Regarding " Hadl's Dubious Decision" (SCORECARD, July 2): Where is it written that a team in any sport is obliged to help another team? Look at the situation from Hadl's point of view. Would you have your $40 million quarterback risk injury in what is for you a meaningless game? Even if Los Angeles was looking to help another team, why does that team have to be Denver? Maybe the Express were helping the Arizona Wranglers. After all, had the Wranglers lost, they would have been eliminated.
In fact, had the situation been reversed, with Young playing and the Express winning, I could then see the Wranglers complaining about Los Angeles trying to win and not "helping them out."
Don't blame John Hadl's resting Steve Young as the reason the Denver Gold didn't make it into the playoffs. It isn't the Express's fault that the Gold turned an 8-1 start into a 9-9 season. I suspect any coach would have done the same thing. Can you tell me you wouldn't rest your "bread and butter" in a meaningless game? Remember, too, that this year the Express has been wracked with injuries, and one to Young would have been the crushing blow.
As an Express fan, I believe Hadl did the right thing, and even if I was partial to the Denver Gold, I would have to believe that 9-9 isn't playoff-worthy.
THE HIGH FIVE
In the NBA item (SCORECARD, July 2), you mention that Larry Bird earns upwards of $20,000 a game during the regular season. I would appreciate it if you could list the NBA's five highest-paid players per game during the 1983-84 NBA season.
Scotch Plains, N.J.
?According to our best estimates, they are Moses Malone (about $26,800 per game), Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ($18,200), Ralph Sampson and Jack Sikma ($14,600) and Julius Erving ($12,800).—ED.
Henry Hecht's very opinionated editorial (INSIDE PITCH, July 2) on disbanding the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians was totally uncalled for. Being an avid Tribe fan, I'm optimistically waiting for this young Cleveland team to mature into a pennant contender. Remember, a few years ago no one knew who the Detroit Tigers were.
ROBERT A. ARIZA
I wish that Henry Hecht and other writers would stop and think before stating that there isn't enough talent around for expansion. In the 1950s, when there were 16 teams, the talent pool came from a U.S. population of 150 million. There are now more than 232 million Americans (and of course baseball has found many players in Latin America). I say expansion in teams should be proportionate to the expansion in population; there's certainly enough talent among those 82 million extra Americans for two to four more teams.
It's quite apparent that Henry Hecht needs to be set straight about baseball in Cleveland. First of all, although Indian fans may not enjoy seeing the Indians lose, losing the Indians would cause all of us infinitely more pain. Those of us who enjoy watching the Tribe are hardly "poor wretches." As for the players, if showing up to play causes them pain, then I don't want them on my team.
Highland Heights, Ohio