Oakland's Haas family and some of the other new owners may have "vision," but what do they see? If all they want to do is encourage labor peace, great, but that hardly constitutes an overhaul of the game. My fear is that these owners have no respect for baseball or the fans, and that their vision includes a designated hitter for the National League, expanded playoffs and the World Series in neutral, warm-weather cities. I'll take the conservative faction led by the owners in St. Louis and Cincinnati, who prefer a game of skill and strategy in which the best teams are selected for postseason play on the basis of an entire season's performance.
New York City
Never have I appreciated my subscription to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED more than after reading William Nack's piece on Dodger First Baseman Steve Garvey (As Always, a Man of Principle, April 12). Kudos to the author and the subject.
It is a damning commentary on both sport and our society that an athlete of Garvey's caliber must undergo generally negative treatment in the media. It appears that the anti-hero syndrome has become pervasive. This glorifying of the inglorious and the berating of the worthy should be foreign to sport. Athletes were once encouraged to adopt the ideals that Garvey apparently has. Today vice seems to be more in vogue. Sadly, the title "hero" when applied to good men like Garvey has become trite—even notorious.
I'm fully confident Garvey has the ability to rebound from recent setbacks that were probably exacerbated by the media attention he received. My concern is for those envious teammates who so vocally yearn for similar attention. It will be interesting to see if they bear up under scrutiny as well as Garvey has. Perhaps then we'll be able to distinguish the heroes from the green-eyed monsters who wear Dodger blue.
MARK M. ESPOSITO
Prince George, Va.
Steve Garvey is my kind of hero. He should be everybody's hero. Our society is in a serious state of moral decay when men such as John Belushi and John Lennon are idolized and a person like Garvey is ridiculed as being "too perfect."
After I read William Nack's article on Steve Garvey, I hated Garvey even more than I had before. I tend to agree with the comments of Ron Cey, Davey Lopes and Don Sutton. I think Garvey spends more time working on his image than on his playing skills. I also don't feel it's fair that the Dodgers got rid of all the players who didn't get along with Garvey when they could have gotten rid of him and not had any more problems. But if Garvey forgets his image and plays the kind of baseball he can play, he'll get my vote when I make my choice for first base on the 1982 National League All-Star team.
Steve Garvey certainly serves as an example to us all—albeit a negative one. Compare his lack of self-awareness and dimension to the wonderful humanity of Willie Stargell, for example, who has "had a banquet and is now on the dessert." Let's leave Garvey alone. His personal life is overexposed and ultimately none of our business, and his brand of baseball is boring.
Newtown Square, Pa.
Halfway through John Papanek's article on Craig Stadler (Sloppy Man in a Clean Game, April 19), I paused ceremoniously, loosened my belt and hoisted a beer in the direction of Stadler's home at Lake Tahoe. Before the Walrus won the Masters, I had always wondered what the coveted green jacket would look like on me. I need wonder no longer.
What a relief it is having an ordinary mortal win the Masters. One tires of continually craning one's neck toward Mount Olympus. Golfers like me, rumpled, shivering with apprehension, � la Craig Stadler on the 18th hole at Augusta, think the Stad is bad.
CHET R. ALLEN
Although I'm now a graduate student at Rutgers, I feel eminently qualified to comment on Craig Stadler because I caddied for him from 1979 to 1982. For all the slurs and slights heaped upon him, Craig continues to have a pleasant attitude about golf and life. He's the first person to enjoy a "belly" laugh when his temper tantrums are bandied about.