I couldn't tell you how to figure out a player's Ultimate Zone Rating any more than I could hit a Felix Hernandez fastball, but I do know this—the Mariners are fun to watch again. Since the Bill Bavasi era ended and Jack Zduriencik became G.M., we have a new saying in the Northwest: In Jack We Trust.
Mark Skeen, Prosser, Wash.
The Mariners' decision to build around pitching and defense (Feel the Glove, March 1) is close to what I've been saying for years about what small-market teams have to do to be competitive. Large-market teams have the resources to belly up to the slugger bar and fill their plates anytime they want. Small-market teams can't afford to do that. They have to change the conditions of the game: focus on pitching and defense, move the fences back—way back—in their ballpark and get a centerfielder who can run down anything hit in his direction.
Once again the Olympics have shown just how great the game of hockey can be without the fighting, goons and enforcers needed to protect the better players in the NHL. The two U.S.-Canada games were as good as it gets without one set of gloves being dropped on the ice. It's too bad that NHL fans generally don't seem to care how much better their sport could be.
Boca Raton, Fla.
I don't know whether he's a Hall of Fame hockey guy, but Brian Burke is a hell of a father (Man of His Word, March 1). His son Brendan would be as proud of him as Brian is of Brendan.