Many baseball fans here in New England empathize with the fans of the hapless San Diego Padres (A Team in Trouble, Aug. 11). In less than three seasons we have seen the financial skills and baseball acumen of owners Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRoux transform the Boston Red Sox from a pennant contender into a dreary team striving to reach mediocrity. While the Padres aspire to "be like the Baltimore Orioles," Sox fans wonder how many on the current Boston pitching staff could hold their own against the Taiwan Little League All-Stars.
For the Padres, William Nack suggests that an albatross would be a more appropriate choice of mascot than a chicken. For the current Bosox, how about a pair of turkeys?
GILBERT S. OSBORN
In your article about the troubled San Diego Padres, you suggest that Ray Kroc's son-in-law, Padre President Ballard Smith, brought to his job no more experience than that of a district attorney in the state of Pennsylvania.
I feel compelled to advise you that during his undergraduate years at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., Smith was a star and, I believe, team captain in what was called the Marvin Rotblatt Softball League. I can think of no better preparation for the man who now oversees the Padres.
MICHAEL C. NEU
WHO'S ON THIRD?
In your Aug. 11 issue, Henry Hecht submits that the Mets have never been able to field a quality third baseman (Can't Anyone Play Third?). This may be true, but neither they nor any other team in baseball can match the San Diego Padres in this regard. For every Pumpsie Green the Mets can name, the Padres can counter with an Ed Spiezio. Or a Tucker Ashford. Or a Dave Hilton. At least New York once had Lenny Randle and Richie Hebner; the best that San Diego has had is an aging Doug Rader. Small wonder that Mike Ivie once refused to play the position for the Padres. He had a tough act to follow.
El Cajon, Calif.
We now know that Abbott and Costello must have foreseen the Mets' predicament when they put I Don't Know on third.
ROBERT J. LANNON