Mickey Mantle came to spring training this year wearing a serpentine scar across his right shoulder, the symbol of yet another operation in a career that already stands as a monument to both modern surgical skill and his own courage. He was a pathetic figure to watch during workouts: he grimaced in pain when lie swung the bat, and he threw the ball like a palsied shotputter. The more Mantle endured, the more he talked about the family life he longed to enjoy. "My wife says she likes having me around the house," he said. Then, with a grin, he added, "At least that's what she says." When the season started Mantle was in the lineup, but his hits were infrequent, his power conspicuously absent. Going into last week he had had only seven home runs, and he was batting .253. Then he made a slight adjustment, the kind that hurts a slugger's pride: he choked up on the bat, an admission that pitchers were simply throwing the ball past him. The adjustment paid off. Three times in five days Mantle hit two homers in one game, and after doing it for the second time in a row against the Red Sox he received a standing ovation in Fenway Park. He hit seven home runs during the week, batted .625, drove in 11 runs. How long Mantle could continue his spree was questionable, for even in the midst of it he suffered yet another injury, a pulled muscle. It all seemed fitting, somehow, that Mickey Mantle went on his splurge the week that Medicare went into effect.