Letters: "Really, people, prioritize"

Readers respond to articles on yuppie terrorism anxiety and Rickey Henderson's brilliant baseball career.

Published October 12, 2001 7:00PM (EDT)

Read "Dread comes to Pottery Barn" by Andrew Nelson.

These people were all so obsessed with the minimal threat of bioterrorism -- I wonder how many of them drive without a seat belt after a few happy hour martinis while talking on the cell phone, smoking, on their way to eat untested bio-engineered vegetables and hormone-laced meat at the local fast food joint. Really, people, prioritize. You lifestyle has a much greater chance of killing you than the bogeyman du jour .

-- Mark Fradl

Andrew Nelson has the great ability to find some unique and informative people. The Tennesseans that he quoted were very interesting and inventive, as opposed to the usual blasé and android big city dwellers so often quoted in articles. Let Andrew keep finding more perspectives from "real " people. He's hotter than a two-dollar pistol on election day. (That's a small town saying for doing well).

-- Dr. Doug Rockett

"Dread comes to Pottery Barn" reflects much of what's wrong with the product of much modern fiction/nonfiction writing: It has become a product, right alongside all the brand name stuff it fills its pages with.

The Pop Culturalist writers have replaced characters and details with brands and the pleasures of plastic unwrapped.

Modern novels, those wet-dreamed over by small circles of East Coast literati, have no depth of meaning and no lingering interest because writers have become copywriters -- and very good ones, too.

So please try and unravel the mysteries of the cosmos and the small inner lives of us people using more imagination than what it takes to pen a good IKEA ad.

-- Cole Bruffel

Read "Brilliant Careers: Rickey Henderson" by Allen St. John.

You're not alone in the Rickey watch. I'm thrilled that he now has career records for walks, runs and steals. He is absolutely the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.

At a Blue Jays-Padres game earlier this year, I had trouble understanding the booing and heckling Henderson received. Everyone remembers when Joe Carter hit the three-run homer in 1993 to give the Jays their second World Series title, coming back to beat the Phillies 8-6. Carter can get a standing "O" at SkyDome any time he likes, just by showing up.

Fewer remember the runners on second and third, the winning and tying runs, respectively. The runner on second? The man who scored the winning run? Rickey Henderson.

Great article.

-- Mark Dykstra

I was very happy to see your article about Rickey. It seems to us in San Diego that Rickey is very much under-appreciated by the national baseball public. We keep hearing and reading about how Rickey is an egotistical cancer in the clubhouse. I can only answer that question with one word: bull---.

In his two stints with the San Diego Padres, he has always been productive and cheerful, never saying a bad word about his teammates. This last season he took a position in the minors with the Padres and worked his way into a starting job. While on the Padres he mentored some of the youngsters and became a role model for a lead-off man. I can remember seeing him in the dugout wearing his "rally" cap inside out urging his teammates on for a comeback win.

And San Diego fans responded. On Oct. 7, he received huge ovations many times: when he was announced in the starting lineup, when he came out for his first at bat, when he got his 3,000th hit, when he went back out into left field so he could take a "curtain call" and in the ninth inning when he went out to be the third base coach to watch his friend, Tony Gwynn take his last at-bat of his career. I don't know about the rest of baseball, but in San Diego he was appreciated.

As a postscript, my 13-year-old son, about 20 other fans and I were waiting outside the players' parking lot after the game to see if we could get some autographs and to say thank you. Rickey (you know, the player that never gives autographs) broke off from his family, walked out of the lot and shook hands and gave autographs for about 10 minutes. Just the look on my son's face as Rickey was signing his ball told me all I needed to know about how great Rickey is.

-- Larry Ponseggi

I used to go to Fenway Park with my father in the '60s, and sat in the bleachers six or seven times during the Sox '75 pennant season, but don't follow baseball anymore. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your piece on Rickey Henderson. The details and color you provided made me keep reading, and now I have an appreciation of this much-maligned player.

-- Bill Bebout

By Salon Staff

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