In my conversation with author Mitchell Nathanson, we discussed the appeal of underdogs. The Pittsburgh Pirates certainly qualify for that distinction, and Tim McCagh, who hears Only A Game on WYPR in Baltimore, is one of their fans. Our recent story on his team in spring training provoked Mr. McCagh to e-mail as follows:
"Thank you for your spotlight on the Pittsburgh Pirates," he wrote. "Though I grew up in Maryland, I spent each summer night of my youth tucked under my bed sheets, listening to a strong signal from KDKA in Pittsburgh and the distinctive voice of Bob Prince. With our transistor radios set low so our parents couldn't hear us, my brother Denny and I would jump up in unison as Roberto Clemente peppered the field with hits or threw out some unfortunate soul who'd dared to round first after grounding to Roberto. Pittsburgh ownership has never subscribed to the Finley/Steinbrenner theory that a checkbook is the only way to win a World Series. As I have recently passed my 60th birthday, I rest assured that the good Lord will not call me until I see one more World Series winner in Pittsburgh."
In an e-mail headed "Bugging Me," Dr. Teresa M. Boersig wrote, "I enjoy Only A Game, and I await the comments of Charlie Pierce, but I really felt sad and disappointed when he denigrated Indianapolis when the city hosted the Super Bowl. The city went all out to put on a good show, so it was disheartening to hear Charlie (whose input I generally like) dismiss it so cavalierly."
Regarding another football-related matter, Ralph Kenoking wrote "Where are the owners?" He was referring to the penalties assessed the general manager and two coaches associated or previously associated with the so-called "bounty-hunting" program of the New Orleans Saints. "Why should the owner skate free?" Mr. Kenoking asked. He blames Commissioner Roger Goodell for that circumstance, though he blames the owners themselves for letting "a dominating, idiotic king-wannabe" run their league.
We also heard from Donn Downey in Thetford, Vt. this week. "In the interest of offering suggestions and not just criticism," he wrote, "why can't you engage in conversation with your guests and not just lob them scripted, softball non-sequiturs? When a few interns hand you six or seven questions and you read them, I start to think anyone could be sitting in your chair."
In defense of our one intern, let me say he doesn't write the questions.
But he, and I, and everybody else will read whatever you send us through this website. You can also leave a comment on the listener line, 617-353-1860, and you can find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
This segment aired on March 31, 2012.