Doubles and Triples
My team heading toward a pennant, my hammock waiting in the shade and Roy Blount Jr.'s superb tale of doubles and triples past (Plink-rumba-barumba-BOOM, Aug. 9)—summer doesn't get any better than this.
JANET WOOD DUNCAN
Boulder Creek, Calif.
Blount laments that "there aren't many other quotes about triples." There's a wonderful one in Philip Roth's The Great American Novel (1973). Luke (the Loner) Gofannon, a ballplayer, acknowledges to his girlfriend. Angela Whittling Trust, that he cares for her more than a stolen base, a shoestring catch, a letter-high fastball and even a home run, but only after admitting, when asked if he loves her more than a triple, "I can't tell a lie, Angela. There just ain't nothin' like it."
Blount says he can't recollect any famous doubles or triples other than Cookie Lavagetto's 1947 World Series double that ended Bill Bevens's no-hitter. How about the go-ahead, two-run triple by Jim Northrup off Bob Gibson in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the 1968 World Series that led the Tigers to a 4-1 win and capped off a glorious summer that saw a badly fractured city unite behind its Tigers? Twenty-five years later, we're still celebrating.
Michael Andretti and Formula One
Kudos to Bruce Newman for his article about Michael Andretti's disastrous and embarrassing foray into Formula One racing (Going Nowhere, Aug. 2). It is the first honest assessment of the situation that I have seen in print in the U.S.
My husband and I have watched with amusement and disgust as the presumptuous Andretti of Indy Cars has evolved into the wide-eyed, can-this-be-happening-to-me driver who yet again fails to complete a race. Andretti complains that "there isn't a single car in that field that will give you a position—ever." That's right, Michael. This is pure racing, not the NASCAR-type show that Indy Car racing is becoming, in which rules are bent or reinterpreted depending on one's last name.
KAREN WOLFE BRANDT
The piece about Michael Andretti was one of the worst examples of ambush journalism I can remember reading. Your writer hasn't the foggiest idea of what it takes to compete in racing at any level, let alone the heights to which Andretti has been involved. He didn't come close to picking up on any of the valid points that might explain Andretti's troubles in Formula One, but instead he resorted to a back-stabbing frenzy centering on Andretti's culinary preferences and his wife's choices in fashion.
Changes at Mile High Stadium
Your article on the rift between John Elway and Dan Reeves (Happy Days, Aug. 2) left me wondering if the altitude at Mile High Stadium hasn't taken its toll on Elway's sanity. While speculating about where he would be if Reeves had returned to Denver, Elway said, "I know that I would not have been back here if Dan Reeves had been here. It wasn't worth it to me. I didn't enjoy it. It wasn't any fun." Not worth it? Wasn't fun? This from a man who just signed a four-year, $20 million contract? Shame on you, John. It's a job, not a Club Med excursion.
East Rutherford, N.J.
Dan Reeves is right: Elway does need to grow up. Granted, the two men were together too long, but the relationship was obviously just as much of a strain on Reeves, who had to put up with his superstar's constant whining, as it was on Elway. A quarterback and a coach do not have to like each other to be successful, but they do have to be mature enough to know what is best for the team. Elway's strong arm has taken him as far as he can go as an individual. Now he needs to realize that football is a team sport and let his teammates and coaches help him.
DANIEL M. SHIRLEY