RUTGERS VS. ALABAMA
Your article on the Alabama- Rutgers game was good (It Was No Picnic in the Big Apple, Oct. 20). However, you neglected to emphasize one thing: Rutgers is a team from the East, and Eastern teams aren't supposed to play on the same level as teams from the South, Midwest and West. Rutgers has proved that there is more to Eastern football than Pitt and Penn State.
In reading Joe Marshall's article, I noted a curious omission. If Rutgers' 4-0 start "looked swell on paper" but was racked up against suspect opponents, what about Alabama? At the time the Tide met the Scarlet Knights, its first four opponents ( Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Vanderbilt and Kentucky) had amassed an aggregate 4-13 record and had been outscored 491-289. While Alabama's margin of victory over these teams was 33 points on the average, its first encounter with a winning club, Rutgers, resulted in only a four-point differential.
JOHN J. WEBBER
I recall that in the mid-70s there was a great deal of attention given to the Phillies and their practice of Transcendental Meditation (Shh, the Phillies Are at Work, June 14, 1976). They were characterized then as a placid and unemotional group. Anyone watching the National League Championship Series (Wow, What a Playoff, Oct. 20) would agree there was nothing placid about their current style of play. The Phillies apparently have abandoned TM for a higher form of motivation: Pete Rose.
Salt Lake City
Let's not make a hero out of Pete Rose for his collision at home plate with Astro Catcher Bruce Bochy in Game 4 of the playoffs. In professional football such a tactic would be called unnecessary roughness and result in a penalty.
JOANNE RAY WALLING
Missouri City, Texas
I agree with Ron Fimrite when he says that the Phillies and Astros played one of the most amazing championship series ever. But what most satisfied me was that the nation got a chance to see one of the most underrated players in baseball, Jose Cruz of the Astros. Cruz's timely hitting and slick fielding led the Astros to their first division crown ever.
New York City
THE " TRENTON TIMES" STORY
In your story on the National League pennant race (Out But Not Down, Oct. 6) you mention a "reckless story originating in the Trenton Times linking the Phillies—or 'Pillies' as some called them—with drugs."
Your characterization of our story as "reckless" is unfair. The Trenton Times stands by what it has printed. All we said was that several Phillies would be questioned by Pennsylvania drug authorities in connection with a probe of a Reading, Pa. doctor. We made it clear that none of the Phillies was necessarily a target of the investigation, which seemingly centered on the doctor's allegedly writing prescriptions without first examining the athletes. After our story broke, other papers had a field day, with a couple of them branding the Phillies as Pillies, but those that bothered to check with their own sources came out with stories confirming what we had said.
Executive Editor/Vice President
THE McKINNEY STORY
Congratulations and thanks to Richard O'Connor for an excellent article on the unfortunate sequence of events involving former Los Angeles Laker Coach Jack McKinney (After the Fall, Oct. 20). McKinney's refusal to badmouth his former employer indicates that he has a great attitude and is a very classy individual. I hope he finds happiness and success at the helm of the Pacers.
DAVID D. NUNN
Jack McKinney is in a freak accident and is "temporarily" replaced by an assistant coach who pleasantly surprises management by outperforming his friend. McKinney becomes expendable and is abandoned by a few people close to him. I'm sure this story sounds hauntingly familiar to hundreds of college athletes who have lost starting positions under similar circumstances.
REFORMING THE NHL (CONT.)
Mark Mulvoy's open letter to John Ziegler (Dear John, Oct. 13) couldn't have been more timely or to the point. If hockey continues to allow violence and fighting, the sport—at all levels—is heading for certain death. Some NHL officials say that it's just part of the game, that the absence of fighting makes for a dull game. It's not part of the game under international rules, the rules under which the Olympics are played. Can anyone who watched the 1980 U.S. Olympic team play the Swedes, Soviets and Finns say that it wasn't exciting, beautiful hockey?
JERRY DEL VALLE
Port Orchard, Wash.