Letters from the week of February 21, 2002

Hall Marks 

Letters from the week of February 21, 2002

Tiger tales: Regarding Greg Hall's "Tiger Lilies" (February 7): Normally I enjoy Hall's column because it's accurate and insightful. I especially enjoy the "Off the Couch" section because he points out inaccuracies and comments on them. I guess it's my turn to correct some of his inaccuracies. Hall states that "Larry Eustachy took over an Iowa State basketball program in 1999 that had never won a conference title and won the Big 12 crown his first two years." The fact is, he took over a program that had been ranked in the top 25 the three previous years and went 15-15 his first year, including 6-10 in the Big 12, good for a ninth-place finish. Quin Snyder took over a program that had made the NCAA tournament once in the previous four seasons and led them to the tournament his first two years, and the Tigers are well on their way to a tournament bid this year.

As for the Bill Snyder/Gary Pinkle comparison, Mr. Hall wasn't flat out wrong, but he didn't tell the whole story, either. The fact is that Snyder's Wildcats had a winning record once in his first four seasons and a combined record of 18-26 (including 1-10 his first season) before breaking through in his fifth season with a 9-2-1 record. Calling out Gary Pinkle after one season doesn't make a lot of sense, but comparing what he has done to what Bill Snyder has done is unfair unless you tell the whole story. I am a little surprised that someone who is so interested in keeping people honest would twist facts so blatantly to make his point seem valid.
Jeff Werner
Kansas City, Missouri


A Royals pain: Greg Hall's poignant views and often stinging diatribes have, well, gotten me upset.

Upset enough to move to Seattle!

In actuality, his columns are worth paying for. I especially enjoyed "Dick Ball" (January 17) and the column filleting Allard Baird and Tony Muser ("Black and Blue," January 24). You know, I'm only 34 years old, but I remember crying when the Royals lost to that no-good Tug McGraw and the Phillies in 1980. I remember the delicious feelings of revenge on the Yankees that year, after being beaten by them three years in a row. In 1985, I gutted it up, just like any true Royals fan would, and told myself, "I'm just glad that we made it." When we won, I got hammered with the rest of my college.

Now it seems that Baird is hell-bent on haplessness. Why Tony Muser is still employed is for the scholars to debate. Does he have photos of Baird at the Simpson murder scene? We'll never know. What we do know is that the Royals, the team I have loved for almost thirty years, will suck again this year. How do I know? Chuck Knoblauch. If he's willing to leave a world champion to play for these coupla chumps, he's essentially telling MLB, "I'm takin' the money and runnin'. And hittin'. And attemptin' to field."

In a city that can't figure out where it fits in the world (Are we a major city? Are we a cowtown?), the real pity is that it thinks everything will be OK in the long run. Why? Because Kansas Citians will basically accept anything (except desegregation and a decent school system). And that speaks light years for and about the state of Kansas City athletics.
John Davis
Seattle
The Hot Seat


One alarm: I commend you on Kendrick Blackwood's article "Labor of Love" (February 7), which began to reveal the hidden truths of the Kansas City administration and the KC Fire Department's Local 42 president, Louie Wright, and his followers. I applaud your courage to write with such candor. I hope you understand that you have only begun to graze the tip of the iceberg with your story. There is a huge story there, Mr. Blackwood. Please keep going.
Name withheld upon request
Jacked-up Reading
Lone Jack, the book: Regarding Allie Johnson's "Jacking Around" (February 7): I just wanted to commend you on an excellent article. I enjoyed "Alone in Lone Jack" (December 6) as well. If they keep going as they have been in Lone Jack, you could turn this whole thing into a book.
Marty Birch
Olathe
Silent fright: I read Allie Johnson's story and was amazed at the details that I was not familiar with. I am Shelley Canaday's best friend. You have all but confirmed suspicions that I have had for over a year now. Something did not seem quite right about the night that Wally died. Now I am left to wonder if she was killed to keep her quiet about something she knew. Thank you for this story.
Kim Harvey
Kansas City

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