Professor Nutbottom:

Your last column was complete idiocy. "Nice" baseball? What species are you? The missing link in man's ancestry?

is about winning. Period. It always was. It always will be. Do you
understand the concept of sport? Go ahead. Take competition away.
You'll say good-bye to 10 million fans -- me included -- who will never
buy another ticket. Your "group hug" and "chicken soup" garbage will
drive a stake through the heart of baseball.

Also, I think your keepers should keep you away from pencils. You might hurt yourself -- permanently.

Beth, (city not given)

Dear Beth:

last column certainly generated a firestorm of reaction. From the
volume of letters I received, I can see I touched a deep chord in a
number of people. Even my wife (who coincidentally is named Beth)
objected to the views I expressed.

I do want to commend you on the tone of your letter. Of the three letters I received, yours was by far the most tactful.

of tact, what a marvelous skill that is in a person. Don't you agree?
So many times people attack each other's views with venomous words and
acrid accusations; it makes it very difficult to have any meaningful
dialogue. But as I am sure you know, presenting one's views with a
hearty slice of charity makes any disagreement feel more like chatting
with friends over a cup coffee.

So, friend, I appreciate the tone with which you have addressed this issue.


let's take a look at your primary objection. Firstly, you say that my
views will "drive a stake through the heart of baseball." Even though
my wife said the exact same thing, I think your statement is a complete
overstatement of my statements. What basis do you have to say something
like that? It's one thing to make that kind of statement. It's another
to prove it.

What does competition have to do with baseball?
Except in the most superficial sense -- nothing. I think this is
self-evident. Despite that fact, I have not found a single person who
agrees with me. Unfortunately, I think people are just failing to see
the obvious.

It's like a group of people lost in a desert and
only one of them sees water. Why can't the others see it? Because it's
a mirage. Everyone knows that people in the desert are supposed to see

Everyone should see it. But only one of them
actually can see it. The rest of them are missing the obvious. They are
missing what everyone knows they should see.

I feel like I'm the only one who can see the mirage.

I hope you won't take offense, but I think you've been surfing the dial
of your boombox just a little too much; those radio talk-hosts are
infecting your brain. This technique you used -- making wild statements
with no basis in reality -- comes straight out of their playbook.


I guess this kind of opposition comes as no big surprise. Through the
annals of history, many men of great vision have faced resistance from
their contemporaries. Fortunately, men like Socrates, Descartes,
Galileo, and Einstein stood firm against the assaults on their ideas to
bring us the progress which we all enjoy. Now, as I stand on the
shoulders of giants and peer into the future of our great society, I
see that I too must endure opposition.

So, while I appreciate your concerns over the changes to baseball I have proposed, your objections are completely unfounded.

regarding your comment about the pencils, thank you for your kind
concern. But no worries. Since I began using a computer a number of
years ago, I have not had to visit an emergency room for that
particular problem. Now my only problem is that the cup holder on my
computer keeps retracting and crushing my coffee cups.

Wait a second. I thought my wife was the only one who knew about my pencil problem. Hmmm.


Nutbottom is a Senior Fellow Professor of American Culture at Ivy Leaf
University in Urnotserse, PA. He enjoys reading, skiing, and sorting
antique bottle caps. You can learn more about his creator by visiting

The Cheers, (c) Rob Favero, All rights reserved.