© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
Could someone tell me why the media and/or the other PGA golfers don't give Phil Mickelson the credit he deserves as one of the top golfers on the tour? When he won his last tournament (the Buick Invitational on Feb. 11), the press only stressed how odd it was that he won shooting double bogey. How about the other 75 holes?
If Tiger Woods had won, there would have been a large picture of Tiger and a long article. Also, after the match was over, the network quickly shifted to other programming, not even showing the awards presentation. Do you think that would have happened if Tiger had won? Of course not.
The other players (or PGA promoters) also seem to overlook Mickelson when they organize special matches like a skins game. Why? He should be right up there with Tiger, Davis Love III and Ernie Els. Yet they select Sergio Garcia, Freddie Couples and others. I would like to be enlightened if anyone has an answer.
-- H. Scott Woodward, Madeira Beach
Wait a minute. Major League Baseball has a vice president in charge of discipline? This is baseball, not elementary school. These guys are millionaire athletes, not rowdy children. You don't tell professionals to behave themselves.
Baseball officials sound like a principal making announcements over an intercom -- pitchers throwing at someone's head will not be tolerated and umps have authority to throw them out without warning. Really?
I suppose the next announcement from the VP of discipline will be no loud talking in the dugouts.
-- Jack Bray, Dunedin
I could not believe the biased comments printed in Sunday's Commentary (Race card gets played too often, Feb. 18). The point is that only in recent years have a few black NFL head coaches been hired. For anyone to blast Tony Dungy (who happens to be the winningest coach in Bucs history) and call for his scalp for voicing his opinion for more black head coaches is ludicrous. All he is asking for is an equal shot.
Another letter complained about a relatively small picture of Phil Mickelson compared with one of Tiger Woods after a PGA Tour victory. Is this sour grapes or what? Maybe a victory with a double bogey doesn't deserve any picture at all.
These sound like the same voices that ran former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams out of town.
-- Lanny Bates, St. Petersburg
I recently went to Legends Field to watch the Yankees with the hope of getting some autographs. What a disappointment. Although we were standing 5 feet from the players as they walked to and from the field, we were totally ignored. I am told other teams have autograph sessions, but not the Yankees. They sure don't act like champions.
-- Peter Ostrowsky, Kendall
Aside from helping his teammates on and off the field, former Rays pitcher Roberto Hernandez has also helped his community.
He volunteered to do the Great American Teach-In at our school, even though he doesn't have any children enrolled there. He was most generous in speaking to multiple classes. After each session, he gladly signed autographs and had pictures taken with the students.
We need more sports figures like this to make an impression on all of our children. We are truly sorry to see Hernandez leaving the Rays and wish him all the best for the future.
-- Anne & Paul Kluga, Safety Harbor
I think Fox did a wonderful job at Daytona. Darrell Waltrip added such a personal touch when he was cheering for his brother (D.W. is steady in debut, Feb. 19). And the concept of having a recent driver and Larry McReynolds, a former crew chief, as commentators was brilliant. Their insight made it much more interesting.
I have been a NASCAR fan for years and have watched almost every NASCAR race that has been televised in the past 10 years, and this is the best announcing team ever. This includes Mike Joy and all the guys on pit row.
-- Dee Berringer, Seminole
I think it was very unprofessional of Darrell Waltrip to be shouting for his brother to win. I have nothing against Michael Waltrip winning the race, but I feel sure there were other fans who had sons, brothers or husbands they also wanted to win the race. I have never heard an announcer for any sport express his or her favorite as Darrell did. I feel that in that profession one should keep their opinions to themselves.
-- Susanne Gleason, via e-mail
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