Letters to Sports: They go where no Clippers team has gone before

Reggie Jackson, right, and Terance Mann celebrate with the Staples Center crowd during a win over Utah on June 18, 2021.
The Clippers’ Reggie Jackson, right, and Terance Mann celebrate with the Staples Center crowd during a 131-119 win over Utah in Game 6 on Friday night that put the team in the conference finals.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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As a longtime Lakers fan, I must congratulate the Clippers for achieving what so many others before them couldn’t. They have given the town a cause to celebrate Father’s Day, Juneteenth and a conference finals on the same weekend.

Marty Zweben
Palos Verdes Estates


If Mann were supposed to fly, then God would have given us wings, but for the first time since Blake Griffin soared over the Kia, the Clippers took flight.


Marty Foster
Pismo Beach, Calif.


It took half a century, but the Buffalo Braves finally made the conference finals. The reason many of us follow sports is just waiting for a Terance Mann-type of performance.

Fred Wallin
Westlake Village

A franchise that seemingly has been cursed for most of its existence underwent a transformation in Friday’s playoff series victory over the Utah Jazz.

June 18, 2021

Sticky subject

Just as we see the Astros’ scandal starting to subside, we now have MLB dealing with grip problems and foreign “sticky stuff.” Tyler Glasnow and his fraternity state that taking the goo away will trigger more elbow problems.

Are you kidding me? This seems real simple. Play by the rules and become pitchers and not throwers — your elbows will feel much better! Need help? Call Greg Maddux.

Gary Engstrom
Seal Beach



I’m confused. MLB is allowed to alter the baseball to improve offense, but pitchers are banned from using substances. MLB is allowed to put a runner on second in extra innings, and the shift is still ongoing.

Here’s a solution or two. Ban shifts, leave the baseball alone, get rid of the runner on second, and either allow substances for pitchers or make baseballs with a grip on it. After that, Manfred, leave baseball alone.

Kelly Mark Ritchie

Dodgers star pitcher Clayton Kershaw on racial inequality: Silence won’t cut it. He vows to stand up for Black brothers and sisters, starting by listening.

June 19, 2021


“Lack of action,” as stated by Rob Manfred, captured in Bill Shaikin’s column, refers to not enough offense, which takes away from fan appreciation. Although Shaikin’s article focused primarily on issues related to doctored baseballs, the underlying message was how to make baseball more exciting.

An option is to speed up the game. Time between innings is approximately three minutes, which translates into 54 minutes of downtime in a nine-inning game. If that was cut to two minutes, a substantial saving of 18 minutes per game would result. Unfortunately, advertisers would probably not get too excited about the idea.

Mark Mallinger


Dodgers thoughts

Dave Roberts’ lackadaisical attitude toward protecting leads is smudging his stellar Dodgers resume. In the latest chapter last Sunday, up 5-0 in the ninth against Texas, he brings in reliever Phil Bickford, whose control is so awful that even Cowboy Joe West knows they’re not strikes. Inexplicably, no one is ready in the bullpen after Bickford’s first three batters get hits. By the time Kenley Jansen arrives, it’s nearly too late. Dodgers end up winning a should-be-laugher by the skin of their teeth.

Dave, a W in June is worth the same as a W in September. Exhibition games ended in March.

Don Gould


If there were 52,078 fans at the Dodgers’ reopening game Tuesday, then that expansion project was more comprehensive than we thought.

Based on the number of empty seats, it’s clear that the revamped stadium now must have a seating capacity of about 70,000.

Denys Arcuri

Twice isn’t nice

In your Wednesday edition the headline for the Angels’ game from Tuesday states: “A’s stop Angels’ six-game winning streak.” Either you are trying to make sure your readers are reading or your headline writer let the heat get to him. The streak ended Monday night (”Bundy rocked as win streak stopped.”) One thing the Angels don’t need is for you to rub it in after enjoying a week of winning baseball.


Richard Whorton
Studio City

Angels dual-threat Shohei Ohtani will participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby. He’s third in the MLB in home runs and will be the first pitcher ever to participate.

June 18, 2021

New NBA laws

I am a lawyer, not an NBA coach, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express and have a few tips for Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer:

1. It is not illegal to double-team Kevin Durant, when he is the only Net who can throw a ball in the ocean.

2. It is not illegal to have your two-time MVP defend Durant.

3. It is not illegal to drive to the basket against James Harden, who was moving like Redd Foxx in Sanford & Son.

Mark S. Roth
Los Angeles

The fairer sex?

If the Tsitsipas-Djokovic French Open final had been between two women, Tsitsipas would have won the match. Isn’t it time women play three out of five? Otherwise, why is it a women’s major?


Bruce N. Miller
Playa del Rey


USC won the NCAA track and field women’s championship and The Times reports it with a small writeup on the bottom of Page D3. On Monday, the Song Girls were featured on Page A1, shared with expelling of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding the investigation of those Song Girls. This investigation turned up insufficient evidence that Lori Nelson violated any university policies.

The Times’ bias against USC, L.A’s major university, is obvious. I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Don Sloper
Santa Rosa, Calif.

Quincy Watts has been named USC’s director of track and field and cross country, the university announced on Thursday.

June 17, 2021

James gang

LeBron James has spent the last several years commenting what is wrong with society and how people of color are not given enough chances. Well, LeBron, now you and your son can do an extremely wonderful thing.

Your son Bronny has received so much special attention for his basketball skills. He is very good, but add the fact that you are his father only adds to all the drama. Instead of Bronny going to your typical basketball college like Kentucky or Duke, why not have him attend a Black college, like Howard or Morehouse?


Think of all the publicity that college would get. Can you imagine how exciting it would be for the students to have Bronny go to their college? Just maybe they make it to the NCAA tourney. That would be crazy for that college.

Bronny will get drafted either way. His next two years at Sierra Canyon are going to be crazy enough.

Thomas Fertal
Rancho Mission Viejo


LeBron James comes out at length describing the evils of NBA scheduling. At just about the same time it is quietly announced James will be wearing a new number on his uniform. Of course, this allows James and Nike to rake in the cash from the sale of gear made by slave labor in Communist China. Pick your battles and follow the money.

Bert Bergen
La Cañada

Sparks forward and Houston native Nneka Ogwumike shares thoughts on Juneteenth, which commemorates the day the last of the slaves were declared free.

June 19, 2021

Not of this world

I always have to smile quizzically when I hear someone refer to an NBA title-winning team or a World Series winner as “world champions,” as one of your submitters did last week in reference to the Dodgers. Maybe before the end of this season, the Dodgers could challenge the current championship holder of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, also presumably world champions, to a series to determine the Milky Way galaxy champ.


Andrew Sacks

Don’t fake it

After seeing Danish soccer player Christian Eriksen collapse on the field and need immediate medical attention, I can only hope that players finally stop the absurd “gamesmanship” of faking injuries to draw fouls. If doctors would’ve waited just a minute or two, this young player would have died on the field.

Dave Eng
Thousand Oaks

Taking the fifth

So, the new SoFi Jimmy Kimmel Bowl will select the fifth-place Pac-12 Team to compete each year. Shouldn’t they just be calling it the Jimmy Kimmel UCLA Bowl?

Jeff Black
Los Angeles


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Editor’s note: After more than 30 years of compiling letters to the Sports section, this is my final batch. Thanks to all you readers for making this job a challenge and a joy, as together we have produced one of the most entertaining parts of the newspaper. Write on.

— Steve Horn