Letters: These are not changes for the better

The Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope celebrate a win over the Indiana Pacers on May 15, 2021.
LeBron James, right, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope celebrate Saturday’s win at Indiana. The Lakers could be headed for the NBA’s play-in tournament, depending on how Sunday’s regular-season finales go.
(Doug McSchooler / Associated Press)

Call me old fashioned or a sports purist, but two of the so called new rules for the MLB and NBA just seem so stupid and unnecessary.

The “man on second” rule for extra-inning games tries to speed up the end results for the game with no justification. It makes no sense to me, especially after the teams compete normally for nine innings prior to that.

For the NBA, there is the “play-in” tournament where a team can have a chance to make the playoffs even after finishing ninth or 10th in the conference standings. The top eight teams in each conference now they can be eliminated on any given day in one game against a team that really didn’t qualify! This is senseless and unfair.


I understand that some things had to be altered because of COVID, but to keep these two changes around is altering the games as we know them and we need to stick with what’s worked and been in place for many many years.

Steve LaRochelle
Simi Valley

Tarnished silver

Your reader from Encino suggested last week they change the Kentucky Derby name to the Bob Baffert Kentucky Derby. After the doping announcement regarding Medina Spirit this week it probably should be the Baffert Dope Kentucky Derby!

I’ve always wondered why he wears those colorful blue lenses. Possibly hiding the fact that he knows he’s cheating the sport, while he laughs at everyone that plays by the rules.

Richard Whorton
Studio City

Bob Baffert was the favorite to win the race with Medina Spirit, but the 146th Preakness Stakes was won by another Santa Anita trainer, Mike McCarthy.

May 15, 2021



Mr. Baffert appears to be confused about what was being done to Medina Spirit. For such a well-known trainer this is troubling. For the horse it is problematic. I feel sorry for the horse.

Robert Matthews
San Clemente


It looks like Bob Baffert has become the Alex Rodriguez of horse racing.

Vaughn Hardenberg


Who knew that I have something in common with a Kentucky Derby winner. Both Medina Spirit and I use betamethasone on our hind ends.

Mike Clark
Los Angeles


Legendary trainer Bob Baffert’s winning horse tests dirty? There are no more heroes. After the epic Lance Armstrong scandal, plus major team sports’ doping episodes, perhaps only the naive think cheating is behind us in pro sports. There is only one solution: The next time Plaschke picks a winner, get him tested.

Konrad Moore
Pacific Beach

Kobe Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night, with widow Vanessa giving the acceptance speech.

May 15, 2021

Center rage

Whether the King is back or not, the Lakers aren’t going very far unless Frank Vogel stops this little game with his centers. Montrezl Harrell has to play 20-25 minutes in each and every game.

Fred Wallin
Westlake Village


Whatever happened to the Lakers’ purple and gold? It seems every time I watch them play, they’re wearing, black, blue or white jerseys. What’s next, chartreuse?

Scott Zimbler

Kobe Bryant should have been there at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction Saturday. His absence is a painful reminder of our loss.

May 15, 2021

Bally low

Based upon the letters to The Times, many Angels fans are contemplating bailing out on the Angels because of their Albert Pujols public relations disaster. I am not bailing out on the Angels because of the Albert Pujols debacle. I am dumping the Angels because of their television broadcasts. It appears that the current Angels broadcast team and production staff attended the Bally Sports “School for Broadcasters” during the offseason. Here are a few of the broadcasting techniques they were taught during the offseason:

Always speak as fast as you can for no apparent reason; use as many inside jokes as you can; talk about yourselves and your past accomplishments or experiences; always name drop; provide so many inane statistics that even Ross Porter’s head would spin; never ever let the game interfere with your non-stop talking; put a “fan microphone” in the stands so the viewing audience can hear the drunk fans more clearly; develop extremely cheesy informational segments; and finally, don’t bother to study the techniques of Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Chick Hearn and/or Al Michaels because Bally Sports “School for Broadcasters” will provide you with videos of Booger McFarland’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts free of charge.

Russell Beecher
Canyon Lake

Not cool, Joe

Joe Maddon: “I don’t mean this to sound cold in any way.”

Sounded cold in EVERY way, Joe! Albert deserved better. Albert EARNED better!

Try again, Joe — or you could just keep your mouth shut.

Steve Tye
Diamond Bar

Albert Pujols is the latest iconic player to put on a Dodgers uniform, and the team gives him a prime opportunity to win one more World Series title.

May 15, 2021

Look to the South

The “El Tráfico” Galaxy-LAFC battle is very important for soccer’s future. However, MLS ignores what former Anschutz/Galaxy president Tim Leiwicke acknowledged: the importance of developing the Hispanic fan base via league play with Mexican League teams much like the aborted European Super League. Peak TV MLS attendance was less than the average Liga MX games in the U.S. The failed Chivas USA experiment was only a half-measure led by the late Jorge Vergara, owner of Chivas de Guadalajara, and Central American Club Saprissa.

Like immigration reform, professional soccer needs to look south of two borders, USA/Mexico and Mexico/Central America.

Bruce Cort Daniels
Running Springs

Sebastian Lletget and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández each score a goal as new coach Greg Vanney’s influence on the Galaxy continues to reap rewards.

May 15, 2021

They’re off base

In case the powers that be at USC haven’t noticed, women’s basketball isn’t the only once-gloried, no-longer-storied, national championship-starved sport on campus that has fallen badly into a state of disrepair and disillusionment that would seemingly benefit from a coaching upgrade in an effort to reclaim its rightful national status of prestige and prominence while spawning a glut of pro prospects and serving as the envy of every other program in the country.

So help me, Rod Dedeaux.

Steve Ross
Beverly Hills


The Pac-12 leadership believes that increased revenue and expansion of playoffs will make the football programs more competitive within the Power Five, so they hired a corporate entertainment executive to run the show. Boy, I bet that’s got the opposition quaking in their boots.

Mario Valvo

The Pac-12 hires George Kliavkoff, an MGM Resorts International executive, as its commissioner. He has no college sports experience.

May 13, 2021

Running a reverse

While there was mixed reaction to having the pages of the sports section in reverse order, I’m sure all Kings, Ducks and Angels fans would prefer to have them printed upside down so their teams would be higher in the standings.

Bennett Beebe


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