It is reasonably apparent, though denied, that one of the network's motivations in buying the Yankees derived from a farsighted look at pay television, which already is peddling baseball on the West Coast. In a dominant position in the American League, CBS will be in fine shape to bat from either side of the plate, pay or free. It could just about tell the league what to do when the question arises. And it could leave pay TV holding the Mets.
The only good thing about the sale is that it does not become final until November. Much could happen in the meantime. The rumbles of angry reaction are already being heard—in Congress and in baseball itself. Thus, Roy Hofheinz, president of the National League's Houston Colt .45s, called for opposition by "every ballplayer, fan, baseball club owner, Congressman and Senator," both on grounds of financial self-interest and ethical considerations.
"The fight has just begun," Hofheinz said. "It should be carried to every form and every level to assure American baseball fans the continuation of baseball as a sport and not as a show or a Madison Avenue production."
That prolonged applause is coming from these bleachers.
When the third—and present—Madison Square Garden was built in 1925, the architects were embarrassed to discover that they had not allowed for a lobby. When Boston Garden—patterned after Madison Square—was built in 1928, it was discovered just in time that there were no provisions for ticket wickets.
Now the new multimillion-dollar fourth Madison Square Garden is awaiting construction on the site of Pennsylvania Station. Plans, you may be sure, call for a lobby and ticket wickets.
No press box, though.
VERY FUNNY, BIBB
Among the businessmen of Lawrence, Kans., site of the University of Kansas, sports are no laughing matter. Sport, in fact, is venerated there. So, at a recent luncheon meeting in Lawrence, Rotarians scarcely knew whether to laugh or not when James Bibb, the state's budget director, suggested that the university system be expanded to include a School for Professional Athletes. Serving the same purpose as a school of law or a school of medicine, Bibb said, it would "insure proper preparation of the athlete for his future job." Eight of the 10 schools that make up the university, he pointed out, are geared to prepare their graduates for specific jobs. A school for pros, he observed, would fill an obvious gap.