I'm one of the millions of people who have never watched baseball but have been totally caught up in the McGwire/ Sosa home run race. There are many reasons for this excitement, and only one of them was to see a long-standing record be broken. However, I believe the main reason for the excitement is because of McGwire and Sosa themselves. I see them congratulating each other, thanking the fans and the community and conducting themselves with dignity on and off the field, in the manner of Cal Ripken.

I compare these two men to Karl Malone and the comparison is not flattering. I wonder if McGwire and Sosa had choked in the big games for the last three years if they would respond by hiring an agent, demanding ridiculous amounts of money, denouncing the ownership, insisting that media members be fired for speaking the truth and belittling their teammates in public. I don't think so.Everyone but Malone seems to know that he would be an average player without Stockton, and he no longer admits that Larry Miller has treated him like a son. His home is big enough to hold his home town. He's been the biggest thing in Utah for years. That isn't enough for him. He says he needs a dominant center and rain. I say let him go to a big city market where the media and fans will rip him to shreds. I save money all year long to pay for a share of my brother's tickets and can only afford to sit in the upper bowl. I think I'll use that money this year to go to St. Louis and Chicago to see real players whom people can respect.

Connie W. Reed

Salt Lake City