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Letters to the Editors

U.S. Open golf coverage is called into question

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 24, 2001

Gary Shelton's column Monday morning was obnoxious (Some comic relief for a bad Open, June 18). Shelton neglected to mention that Retief Goosen and Mark Brooks played 17 fabulous holes of golf. Apparently, Shelton is either not a golfer, or a very poor one for not realizing how well they played. His comments bespeak his ignorance.

The grace and dignity that Goosen displayed after having three-putted the last hole (not unlike most of the field) was also lost on Shelton. He mentions Tiger as if he were the only golfer on the planet, but did he just think Tiger was having a couple bad days? His scoring the first two days is indicative of the tough conditions that a U.S. Open course presents.

These men are not clowns. Shelton is the clown.Ann McKersie, Lecanto

(Bob) Harig and Shelton could be Abbott and Costello. The U.S. Open match I watched was different from the one you watched. I was glued to the TV till the last hole. Watching a player so far ahead that the outcome is almost history is as boring as watching a 73-0 football massacre (unless the home team is winning).

If the leaders are "clowns," would that make those golfers who are 12 back bigger clowns?
-- William H. Opalka, New Port Richey

Tiger overrated?

I get so sick and tired of hearing about how good Tiger Woods is. If you put Tiger Woods back into time when Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Gary Player and the rest of the greats were in their prime, Tiger would be just a bumbling, stumbling, blundering, lame, forgettable, also-ran golfer. Tiger is not that good (as he proved in the U.S. Open). The other golfers are just that bad, providing no competition. I think you put Tiger on a king's throne because of his race.
-- Tom Weber, Largo

Missed the point

Last Sunday's letter from Bruce Marshall was called to my attention. Although any attentive reader probably would be aware that he misrepresented my views, I would like to clarify a few things.

First, I was asked by the Times' Sharon Ginn about the possibility of baseball contraction. I responded that there was a case to be made for it, but that to get to 24 teams (ideal number for scheduling, divisional alignments, post-season formats and quality of play) would be difficult, since only a few are obvious candidates for the scrap heap. In those cases, we would be talking about teams in markets that appear not to be viable for big-league baseball even in the best of conditions, not franchises that might be in the midst of temporary down cycles. I have always advocated the sort of economic reform that would allow baseball to remain at 30 teams, with relocation a possibility for the two or three franchises that would be better off elsewhere.

As for day baseball in the World Series, I was talking about weekend games. I was not suggesting that baseball play its mid-week World Series games outside prime time, although given the length of games, it might make sense to start a bit earlier.

I enjoy discussing and debating baseball issues, and I certainly do not mind informed disagreement. I would, however, prefer that my views not be distorted.
-- Bob Costas, St. Louis (and NBC Sports)

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