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Letters: Enjoy the ride on the Plaschke roller coaster

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James talks to his teammates during the second half of an NBA conference.
Lakers star LeBron James gestures during Game 4 against the Houston Rockets.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Isn’t it typical that Bill Plaschke writes his usual, overreaction, doom and gloom story on Sunday after the Lakers lost Game 1 to the Rockets, saying “Maybe they’re a big team that isn’t flexible enough to overcome the Rockets’ small ball.” And then the Lakers win two games and he’s all of a sudden crowing “this series, however, is 100% over.” He probably thought in 1985 after the Memorial Day Massacre that the Lakers weren’t a team that could beat Boston.

Bill “Hyperbole” Plaschke needs to take a chill pill and give this Lakers team more respect than that.

Danny Balber Jr.
Pasadena

With the Lakers and Clippers each a win away from squaring off in the NBA playoffs, it’s time to embrace the impending showdown between the peaking rivals.

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Too much Sofi?

The Times’ NFL Preview special section was marked by its metaphorical genuflection at wealth’s excesses reminiscent perhaps only of Ancient Rome.

To read the story, future art devotees may choose to skip the Getty’s lines in favor of a place where culturally enlightened visitors may experience the sway of palms in the late afternoon’s breeze and experience architecture so brilliant no single dime was spared.

To say Sofi Stadium represents an obscene expenditure of private wealth amidst a health and economic pandemic — to say nothing of the homeless crisis in Los Angeles, denies the upper echelons of capitalism their rightful place in the pantheon of obscenity.

Konrad Moore
Pacific Beach

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I would like to thank Stan Kroenke for his vision and contribution and also all the workers and team members for creating what will be a wonderful place for the public to enjoy and visit.

I’ve never been to a Rams game, but they have always been the only team for me. I’m 69 now and never had the optional finances to afford good seats, but I have always been satisfied to watch my Rams on the TV. I have always thought my family room had the best seats in the house anyway!

Robert Gardner
Mission Viejo

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SoFi Stadium, the NFL’s crown jewel, was the the culmination of Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s vision and the NFL’s desire to return to the L.A. market.

Matters and smatters

I am writing to commend LZ Granderson for his superb column in the NFL Preview section. Yes, many athletes have taken important and courageous stands in support of Black Lives Matter, protesting injustices and police brutality, systemic racism, and the killing of Black men by white police. That’s good — but it can’t end there, as LZ so eloquently points out. Now comes the hard work of actually making change happen — and that starts at the ballot box. Athletes are tremendous role models for many, many people. I hope they will heed LZ’s call and get themselves registered and vote — and encourage everyone else to do the same.

Susan Hunter Hancock
Claremont

When athletes decide to use their platform to draw attention to crippling societal ills, not being registered to vote undermines gravitas.

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There was more than a smattering of boos at the beginning of the Thursday night NFL game as the Chiefs and Texans gathered in what they call their “moment of unity.”

I don’t think people in general agree with the anti-sentiment toward the police. Obviously it’s become a political football No pun intended.

After all what job is harder: fighting crime, or playing a game?

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Michael Taylor
Los Angeles

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-20 win over the Houston Texans scores 19.3 million viewers, down 13% from 2019’s NFL season opener.

Time to retire

I agree with a recent article by Bill Shaikin. The Dodgers must stop the nonsense and come to their senses. Retire numbers from players not in the Hall of Fame.

My vote for the first number to be retired, while he is still among us, is my boyhood idol. My father took me to get his autographed picture at the opening of a Bank of America branch at Slauson and Crenshaw in Los Angeles. I even called in on a sports radio show he was hosting.

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I can still hear public address announcer John Ramsey’s voice, “Leading off for the Dodgers, shortstop, number 30, Maury Wills.”

The mouse that roared.

Captain Maurice Morning Wills.

I have had to endure Darryl Thomas (really?), Jose Offerman (seriously?) and Dave Roberts (unbelievable!) attach this number to their jerseys.

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Nonsense, I say.

Stan Kasten, you have been around this great game, a long time and as part of the present regime, I implore you to make it happen!

Duane Ragland
Baldwin Park

Blue men groupies

Kenley Jansen and Julio Urías have been the Dodgers’ two most undependable players. Jansen should never be brought into a game unless L.A. has a four-run lead. And why Urías is still a starting pitcher remains a mystery, as this long-term phenom frequently sputters and costs the team another win. But at least in Tuesday night’s 10-inning nail-biter, we learn that Gavin Lux does indeed have a “de” in his last name.

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Roy Reel
Culver City

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With four players on the roster who are more than capable playing second base, Dave Roberts, for whatever reason, decides to expose Mookie Betts to the potential chaos of the middle infield? This is playing with fire, and if he is burned by any type of injury to the club’s most valued commodity, the usual Roberts-speak he has used to explain his previous bonehead moves will fall on deaf ears.

Bud Chapman
Northridge

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Personal note to Joc Pederson:

Congrats on the new child. One request: Please never give him or her a first baseman’s mitt.

Fred Wallin
Westlake Village

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The San Diego Padres are good for the first time since 2010, but COVID-19 restrictions prevent fans from watching games in person and celebrating with the team.

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CUTOUT SHOUTOUT

O, loyal Flat Fans and dogs and cats,

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With frozen smiles and Dodger hats.

24/7 you’ve stayed in place,

Rooting in this mini race.

Now comes the Asterisks’ shameless horde

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To challenge you, our Loyal Cardboard.

Stealing signs and pounding drums,

They cheated on our Brooklyn Bums.

But now ten thousand eyes are fixed,

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Watching for those dirty tricks.

O, Paper Dolls with hearts of blue

Could you somehow work up a “boo”?

Gail Rock
Santa Monica

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Striking out

While basketball in the bubble has been quite electric, hockey quite fresh and exciting, and football showing promise, baseball is proving to be almost unwatchable.

Any magic the game once had is now replaced by a soporific parade of strikeouts, ground balls into the shift and virtually an absence of entertaining strategy.

The only major sport to involve gimmickry to get through the season (seven-inning doubleheaders, runners placed on second to start an inning, etc.) the sport has become painfully unwatchable. Baseball is killing itself, and a work stoppage next year would certainly be the final nail in the coffin of the former national pastime.

Robert Goldstone
Corona del Mar

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Derby distancing

John Cherwa writes of the Kentucky Derby that “the race was held without fans…” But the photo you published of the horses rounding the first turn shows at least 1,000 people looking on from all levels of the grandstand from the clubhouse turn to the stretch. They couldn’t all have been track employees and owners’ connections.

Did someone open the gates for friends, family and freeloaders, citing “tiz the law” in Louisville as the reason?

Godfrey Harris
Encino

Quick hits

A few minutes before that fateful moment, an angry Novak Djokovic slammed a ball into the sideline wall. Had he been properly penalized for ball abuse, he might have been hesitant about firing the one that hit the line judge.

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David Wilczynski
Manhattan Beach

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The last three minutes of an NBA playoff game is actually one hour of my day I’ll never get back.

Barry Smith
Thousand Oaks

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Congrats to Mike Trout on being the youngest player to hit 300 homers and steal 200 bases. Unfortunately, if he stays in Anaheim, he’ll be the first player to hit 600 homers, steal 400 bases and catch the most fish in the month of October.

Richard Katz
Los Angeles

Mike Trout’s contract is the largest in North American team sports history, but Patrick Mahomes’ deal should eventually be worth more, his agent says.

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Has anyone noticed that Yu Darvish is the best pitcher in baseball this year?

Edward Steed
Ventura

The old normal

For the first time in a while, last Saturday felt kinda normal. Here’s what we got: Lakers playoff loss. Kentucky Derby upset. Arte Moreno outwits the city of Anaheim out of $175 million. Dodger fans resume their love of Clayton Kershaw (even though he’s never come through when it counts) and bemoan the front office’s recurring theme of keeping prospects rather than pay for pitching. The Angels have Trout and still suck. The Clippers have the sixth man of the year. The Dolphins learned what all of us armchair GMs already knew, that Josh Rosen was a wasted high draft pick. No COVID-19 stories. No Granderson lectures. No NBA bubble AWOL stories.

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More, please!

Jeff Heister
Chatsworth

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The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

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Email:
sports@latimes.com


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