- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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As a senior citizen—much more senior than Tom Watson—I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would be triumphant in the British Open at Turnberry (Heartbreaker, July 27). However, Stewart Cink was wonderful, and I feel sorry that he is being made to feel as if he rained on Watson's parade. Cink was the winner and a very worthy one at that.
In 1996 the U.S. Open was held at Oakland Hills, close to where I live, and I managed to get a note put into Watson's locker, asking if he could call my wife, Patty, an avid golfer and great fan of his, who was dying of cancer. Tom did call, and he talked to Patty for 15 minutes, giving her a joyous story to tell until her death eight months later. After Turnberry, I sent Tom another note, telling him that he would always be the greatest champion of all in my household.
I am a true maize-and-blue fan, but I could not be prouder to have a basketball coach like Michigan State's Tom Izzo (The Fire Still Burns, July 27) in our state. These are hard times in Michigan. Izzo has what every person here looks for in a coach: integrity and compassion.
Izzo showed me his dedication to Detroit during the Stanley Cup finals. I drove five hours with my son to Pittsburgh to see Game 6, and I thought I was a dedicated Penguins fan. To my surprise Izzo was sitting right behind me, quietly supporting the Red Wings. After the Penguins' victory he took the time to speak with us and have our picture taken with him. Coach Izzo has two fans from western New York.
Your story neglected to mention a key reason the Spartans had trouble recruiting Detroit talent for years: Michigan booster Ed Martin, who made payments of at least $616,000 in the 1980s and '90s to steer prize recruits to Ann Arbor with proceeds from an illegal gambling operation. The scandal was one of the biggest of its kind in NCAA history, and Tom Izzo and his predecessor, Jud Heathcote, were the primary victims.
Aces on the Bases
Albert Chen's story on Carl Crawford (The Running Man, July 27) was well done, and the Rays' leftfielder is a great talent. However, any article that discusses basestealing needs to mention Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, who is second in the majors.
Your story quotes the 2006 book Baseball Between the Numbers as saying that Rickey Henderson's 1985 record-setting 130-steal season was only two runs better than Pete Incaviglia's the same year. But Henderson set the record in 1982, and Incaviglia didn't make it to the majors until 1986.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The book, which was quoted inaccurately, correctly makes its comparison between Henderson's 1982 season and Incaviglia's rookie season.