A soccer player knows about spin control, and Japanese superstar Nakata Hidetoshi was displeased with the bad bounces his locker-room remarks were taking in the press. Sports reporters spelled his name right, but the reclusive midfielder says he experienced "feelings of frustration" because his statements were seldom faithf- ully reproduced by newspapers and magazines. Having just acquired a laptop computer and an e-mail account, the wildly popular Nakata quickly deduced he didn't really need all those pushy scribes standing between himself and his fans anyway. The media could be disintermediated. Cut from the loop. Nakata nearly two years ago opened his own website to communicate directly with his followers. "The fact that I am able to talk to readers of the website without having anyone filter my writing is very satisfying," says Nakata in an interview conducted via the Internet. "Many times it can be lonely to be an athlete, but through the mail I feel I am not alone. I feel like my fans are practically my real friends." One nice thing about having pals is you can cadge a few bucks from them sometimes. Because his fansite draws a huge crowd, second in Japan only to the official Play- Station 2 site, Nakata's management company recently launched another. Club.nakata.net charges $4.67 a month for access to exclusive chat rooms and video clips of Our Hero at home in Italy, where he plays for the AS Roma team. "The sites are a way for Nakata to show his gra- titude to his fans," says Fujita Mina, his business manager. "This way, they have more access to him than the press does."