FOR THE BIRDS
I must object to the way William Nack characterized Whitey Herzog's Cardinals (They've Committed Cardinal Sins, June 16). As a longtime St. Louis admirer, I will let you in on the scenario for the remainder of the 1980 season: by the All-Star break the Cardinals will be in fourth place (ahead of the Cubs and Mets) and at .500, eight games back. In September their hitting and the addition of two or three pitchers, for which they traded one of their .300 hitters, will put the Redbirds in first to stay. Then, who knows? You can't keep the best "starting eight" in baseball down.
IT'S NOT THE HUMIDITY
I enjoyed your recent story on Steve Balboni (Hello Balboni, Bye-bye Ball, June 9), but feel compelled to inform you of an error. You say that Balboni's slugging in his first year at Fort Lauderdale was "remarkable," considering the "heavy summertime air" in Florida. Each baseball season I cringe when I see this common mistake repeated somewhere. Humid air is, in fact, less dense than dry air. That is because in humid air the water molecules displace nitrogen molecules. Since H0 is lighter than nitrogen molecules, the air is less dense. So home runs should be flying in Florida's "heavy air." If fewer home runs are hit there, perhaps it is because of heavier balls—water added through absorption—or to player fatigue in the hot, humid weather.
STUART R. STARK, M.D.
Judging by the performance of Detroit's professional athletes, I was not at all surprised to learn that Detroit has the biggest hot dogs (SCORECARD, June 16). Actually, I suspect the jumbo franks being served are just the Tiger management's subtle way of stuffing us with more of their baloney.
Your article regarding the use of a MORA mouthpiece to relieve the head, neck and back pain of competitive athletes suffering from TMJ distress (Sink Your Teeth Into This, June 2) neglected to emphasize several important facts regarding the malfunctioning temporo-mandibular joint:
1. A large percentage of our population who are not competitive athletes also suffer similar pain and would benefit from MORA therapy.
2. In many cases, the services of a competent physical therapist can restore the joint to function so that the MORA is not necessary for normal activity.
FRANK J. CARBERRY, D.D.S.
Your picture of Roberto Duran on page 30 of the June 16 issue illustrates exactly what every macho man needs—hare on his chest.
FRANK R. STANSBERRY
I am curious to know why Curry Kirkpatrick's article on the French Open (Two Feats on Clay, June 16) consisted of 1,151 words on the men's tennis and 136 words on the women's tennis.
I truly enjoyed your article Reflections of an Older America (June 16), especially the piece on Greyfield Inn at Cumberland Island, but I take one exception. The soul of Cumberland Island, while not at the Sea Camp visitors' center, isn't at Greyfield Inn either, nor at any other building on the island. As any backpacker will tell you, the real soul of Cumberland is found along its narrow trails, under live oak canopies, in its eerie marshes, along its eastern shore at sunrise, in the western marshes at sunset when the egrets arrive—in communion with the lizards, squirrels, birds, armadillos and insects who truly own that paradise. This is a part of Cumberland that Greyfield's guests, shuttling around in their Jeeps, seldom see.
I was delighted that you included Arizona's Tanque Verde Ranch. But I was disappointed in your description of Tucson as a "flat, ugly sprawl." As a real Tucsonian knows, the beauties of this city may recede in fact, but we will never let them recede in memory.