GREED BEGETS GREED
The twin-double system of betting at racetracks has proliferated since its inception at Suffolk Downs in July of 1960. Now 15 of the country's 44 harness tracks have it, as do 13 of 105 flat tracks.
We have frequently and strongly protested that the twin double is not good for racing, even though it increases track handles and the state's percentage. Now events at Yonkers (N.Y.) Raceway, a harness track, have justified these criticisms. Eighteen agents of the Internal Revenue Service swarmed through the crowd one night last week and arrested 11 men on charges of offering to provide false identification to twin-double winners in return for 10% of their winnings.
The temptation to use false identification derives from the IRS rule that anyone with a winning ticket worth more than $600 must identify himself before collecting and must include his profit in his tax returns. Losses are theoretically deductible from winnings, but the IRS rules are such that losses are just about impossible to prove.
The twin double breeds sharp practice of various kinds. It should be abolished. As for the IRS, its unsatisfactory regulations on betting nurture the very kind of offense its agents are trying to suppress.
THE SICK MAN OF PITTSBURGH
His doctor in Puerto Rico advised the always ailing Roberto Clemente to sit out the 1965 season after his most recent illness—a bout of malaria. Now Clemente is driving toward his second straight batting title, fortified with pep pills, a daily shot of B-12 and strong doses of other vitamins.
Throughout his baseball career, the Pittsburgh Pirates' best bat has been plagued with an assortment of back, leg, arm and stomach ailments, not all of them necessarily imaginary, though Clemente is not one to make light of a hangnail. Now he complains that the pep pills make his neck sore, that he has trouble breathing when he runs the bases and that his strength is not what it should be.
He may be the sickest champion in National League history. As Les Biederman, a sportswriter with The Pittsburgh Press, has observed, "If Clemente ever gets well, he could lose the batting championship."