TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Respond to Bonds Article, Mitt Romney, Shrinking Papers, Cheney Video and HBO Footage

By: E&P Staff It may be August but readers aren't taking a vacation from writing in. Today's letters cover the Barry Bonds article, Mitt Romney, shrinking newspapers, a 1994 Cheney video and HBO's footage of Hiromshima.

Barry Bonds' HR Record Tainted by Elbow 'Armor'?
I?m sure you?re correct that the protection has allowed Barry to become the King. Anyone who is a true baseball fan already has an asterisk by his name, so this doesn?t change anything. What really needs to happen is for baseball purists to lobby MLB to stop allowing any protective devise to worn when hitting other than gloves and maybe and calf/shin guards. His devise is the same as a pitcher throwing from behind a screen with some KY Jelly on the ball. He?s a great hitter, no doubt, but he?s not a good person, and I really don?t give a rat?s @ss what happens to Barry Bonds. Good article.

Clint Doyel

My friend and I have brought this up at numerous occasions but without the in-depth detail that you have collected. I compared his protector with a bowler?s wrist aid. I still am confounded why MLB allowed its use for so many years. Just imagine him facing Drysdale or Gibson in the 60?s and early 70?s. They would have let him know what they thought of his gizmo! Baseball back then everyone policed themselves and each other. Then it was skill and character, facing down fear and working as a team. Now it?s just entertainment with high priced untouchables all out for themselves. Thanks for the insight.

Antonio D. Pimenta, CPA
Tampa, Fla.

Your theory is purely fictional. You need the corroboration of a handful
of baseball insiders before anyone with baseball knowledge will believe
it. Only paragraph four bears any semblance to the truth: "his massive
protective gear ... permits Bonds to lean over the plate without fear of
being hit by a pitch".

Furthermore, Bonds does not handle the outside pitch very well. It is,
in fact, the one spot where pitchers try to get him out with hard
sliders being the toughest for him to hit.

Bonds more than likely used steroids, but neither the drugs or his elbow guard produce the short, smooth and quick swing that has been praised by baseball analysts for years.

I am hardly a fan of his -- he is arrogant and disingenuous, but he is
an amazing athlete. I can't wait until he retires so we no longer have
to live with all of the bull from so-called experts like you.

Lastly, it amazes me how many baseball players get away with unethical behavior: pitchers headhunting and doctoring up balls, outfielders trapping line drives, infielders and catchers picking up dropped balls and selling the act to shielded umpires. How about all of the ball players in the 70s and 80s who used amphetamines to make it through the long season?

Joe Gargiulo

Mitt Romney Not Happy About AP Story on His Sons Not Going to Iraq
First, I disagree that Mitt Romney's answer to the question about his sons was very "revealing." The most interesting part was that his niece's home has a deed restriction on landscaping.

Second, perhaps the reason reporters "fear to tread" near the question of whether Romney's children should serve in the armed forces is that it makes no sense and reveals nothing about the candidate's

The economic and racial makeup of our volunteer army is certainly relevant at the moment. And it may be more or less interesting to look into the socio-economic status of our politicians. The difference between the two groups of people, and the phenomenon of rich politicians sending poor soldiers off to fight, strikes me as a valid, although not terribly new, topic of inquiry and reporting.

But do the children of politicians have any special responsibility to serve, and does that responsibility correspond to their parents' position on the war? Do we think Romney ought to force his children into the Army in order to be somehow consistent?

Do we similarly presume that a politician who advocates for more money for infrastructure is a hypocrite if his or her offspring isn't out there inspecting bridges? It seems like a slanted, "gotcha" type of question with limited value.

A few months ago, I covered a Romney appearance in Michigan, and there wasn't much time or opportunity to actually ask him questions. Wouldn't our audience be better served if we asked him about his actual policy on the war?

Dan Meisler
Livingston County (Mich.) Daily Press & Argus

Today, A Smaller 'NYT': Tomorrow, None at All?
Why don't papers like the NY Times and Wall Street Journal that have chopped off perpendical columns pack it in and admit design defeat? They're clumsy to handle and awkward to read. In overall page measurement, they're about tabloid size. Why not go that route? There's nothing wrong with that format; it's the trash-content that's given them a bad rap. Times and Journal editors can think of such a move as elevating the reputation of a format subway riders have come to rely on.

Wes Pedersen
Chevy Chase, Md.

HBO Airs A-Bomb Footage Kept from Media for Decades
Readers might like to know that the HBO documentary "White Light/Black Rain" can be purchased. is one source.
A recent book is also full of good information. "First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War" details the censorship of reports by journalist George Weller. His son Anthony edited the book.

Bill Dunn

Video Surfaces of Cheney, in 1994, Warning That An Invasion of Iraq Would Lead to 'Quagmire'
You do realize that 1994 was before 9/11-the fact that you do not find that relevant completely negates the relevance of your editorial.

Kate Logsdon

Cuts in Newspaper Staff
I realized newspapers were in deep trouble when the paper I was at at
the time cut their customer service/news clerk staff and trained all
reporters and photogs on "customer service." The big problem the
decline in news clerks posed was that if we didn't get to our phone
by the third ring it went to voice mail instead of back "to the
front" for a news clerk to pick it up and more frequent trips to the
front to deal with random customer inquiries. Throw in the extra work
with the staff cuts and the near constant phone tag with sources and
these little things become a lot bigger when multiplied by a 30
person staff. Two news clerks are worth more than one reporter.

David. N. Decker


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