Tom Boswell's comparison of Cincinnati Reds third baseman Chris Sabo with the Oakland A's is too good to be true {"The New Cincinnati Kid," Sports, Oct. 20}. Finally, someone has the good sense (and style) to present major league macho as it really is: tasteless.

Mr. Boswell writes: "Rickey {Henderson} had to do his trot. ... Dennis Eckersley embarrasses a batter by fanning his imaginary pistol ... . When {Jose} Canseco flexes his muscles ... when Dave Henderson does his tippy-toe snatch catch ... or when Dave Stewart goes into his Death Stare, it can seem a little too much." It is a little too much.

It's also representative of the macho attitude that has taken over professional sports -- and American culture. It's cool to be cool. "Read my lips." "Make my day." Gary Clark's touchdown antics in the end zone. The Ickey Shuffle. Come on, friends. Let's back up and start appreciating real talent again, not ego.

How about John Riggins' and Marcus Allen's simply handing the ball to the referee after a score? How about Chris Sabo's humble, businesslike sprint around the bases? How about a real kinder, gentler and more humble nation?

M. P. HECKMAN Alexandria