TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Respond to Bonds Article, Par Ridder and HBO's Hiroshima Footage

By: E&P Staff As the week wound down readers were still writing in about the Barry Bonds article E&P ran earlier in the week. They also chimed in about Par Ridderand HBO's footage of Hiroshima.

Barry Bonds' HR Record Tainted by Elbow 'Armor'?
Michael, I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the "armor" that Bonds sports when he is at bat.

If what you say is true, I find it incredible that major
league baseball has allowed Bonds to continue wearing that contraption.

Have your findings been brought to the attention of Bud Selig and others in baseball's hierarchy? If so, George Mitchell should start investigating them given his feeble steroids efforts.

Jim Wright
Armonk, N.Y.

You know what you?re talking about. I played in the Twins organization in the early 1960s and as good defensive catcher (but not so good hitter) I got lots of advice.

From 1968 on, I became a student of hitting and taught myself to hit altogether differently. It involves staying ?connected?, hitting ?down? on the ball (?down? only so far as your degree of strength allows you until you get natural ?lift?) and causing top ? spin, and staying ?inside out?, etc.

Not to belabor the fact, you have made an excellent point. It should be well ? taken. I?ve got to say ? baseball ain?t what it used to be (or what it?s supposed to be).

Tom Fries
Columbus, Ohio

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 policed itself. 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
Tampa, Fla.

Excuse me, but don't you think that it's probably a good thing that Barry's elbow doesn't hyperextend after having surgery on it? It's not there because the elbow hasn't healed. It's there so it doesn't get hurt again.

He wears that for the same reason players wear shin guards when they go up to bat. I guess you wouldn't know about that or else you wouldn't have made such a blundering statement. Asking when Bonds' elbow is going to heal is yet another specious assertion.

Asking Bonds to stop using his protective device is akin to asking someone to stop using seatbelts after they've been thrown out of an automobile in a traffic accident. That was a stupid thing to write, too.

If Bond's "elbow armor" provides him with such a superior advantage, then why don't other batters use it?

I look forward to reading another one of your mindnumbing propaganda hit pieces when it's time for Alex Rodriguez or some other minority to break Bonds' record.

Ask any Major League pitcher who has pitched within the last 15 years, especially Al Leiter, and he will tell you that today's game does not favor the pitcher at all!

When the rules were changed that favored the hitters, such as lowering the pitchers mound, etc., batters began to see more hits.

Your reporting is idocy at best. Idiotic, yet quite laughable, entertaining.

Chad Woodward
Phoenix, Ariz.

Testimony at Ridder Trial, Part I -- How Publishers Share Information
What am I missing here? Pioneer Press publisher, Par Ridder, leaves Media News with a pile of cash to become publisher of the Star Tribune. He takes proprietary financial data with him, shares it with executives at the Star Tribune and justifies it as "benchmarking".

He further states that this is a common practice in the newspaper industry and proceeds to implicate a fellow publisher at McClatchy who participated in this practice with him. Does he think we all live in a big commune?

It is unsconscionable that a newspaper publisher, a supposed pillar in his community and role model to all of his employees, would disgrace himself like this. If Mr. Ridder worked for a publicly traded company, he might not have a job right now.

Furthermore, this sad scenario should not be construed as representative of "the inner workings of the newspaper industry", as inferred in the August 8th, E+&P story.

Marc Romanow
Plainville, Conn.

HBO Airs A-Bomb Footage Kept from Media for Decades
I just read your article on subject. I did not see the HBO special referred to but I will look for reruns.

I distinctly remember seeing some footage of this
nature on television in the late 40's or early 50's.
Even though I was a young child at the time, some of
the images were deeply burned into my memory.

The most vivid images were silouettes of people and
objects on other larger objects behind them. It was
explained that the objects were instantly vaporized
and the uneven radiation left permanent shadows on the structures behind them. Since I saw this on public
air waves, I had always assumed that it was public
knowledge and widely known even though I never saw it again.

It would be interesting to know how this fits into
your narrative. Thank you for your work in getting
these films back into the public domain. We are often
told that "war is hell" but our leaders take great
pains to conceal how hellatious it really is.

David Gripshover

I just read your piece about the suppression of the atom bomb footage and have forwarded it to a number of Nevada historians. As you can imagine, anything about the early atomic testing period is of interest in Nevada and I sent your piece to, among others, our state archivist who is an occasional coauthor of mine on historical pieces. I didn't know about your book, nor did he, but we are both going to get ahold of copies.

I also sent your article to various journalists because I think that period also speaks to us. Then, as after September 11, there were many journalists who felt it their duty to close ranks behind the U.S. government.

You may know that William Lawrence of The New York Times, who had been permitted to view the first New Mexico atomic blast, later published a report designed to help the U.S. government combat reports of radiation sickness in Japan: ?This historic ground in New Mexico, scene of the first atomic explosion on earth and cradle of a new era in civilization, gave the most effective answer today to Japanese propaganda that radiations were responsible for deaths even after the day of the explosion, Aug. 6, and that persons entering Hiroshima had contracted mysterious maladies due to persistent radioactivity.?

Thank you for this important article and all the other work you do.

Dennis C. Myers
Reno, Nev.


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