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One veteran tennis follower commented, "I have never seen so much bad sportsmanship as there has been this year. They asked me to be a linesman for the final match, but I wouldn't do that for all the money in the world, not the way the players are abusing everybody in sight."
Arthur Ashe, generally acknowledged to be one of the more gentlemanly players in the game, explained his cohorts' behavior: "People complain about our sportsmanship, but it's only that, with money on the line, we're trying harder than ever. If people today expect the players to be gentlemen they're looking for the wrong thing. All that counts is what goes on inside those white lines. The players will do anything to win short of cheating. They want to win—not please people."
Hank McGraw, 27-year-old brother of the New York Mets' Tug McGraw and a catcher-first baseman with the Philadelphia Phillies' farm team in Eugene, Ore., was suspended by the club July 11 because—here we go again—his hair was longer than the Phillies' management felt it should be. (The Phillies issue A Public Relations Primer for Professional Baseball Players that includes sections on "Handling Yourself," "Handling the Press," "Establishing Commercial Values," "Personal Relations with the Public Directly" and "Personal Appearance.") McGraw, who was batting .305 with 14 homers and 49 runs batted in at the time of suspension, said, "It's thick hair. It's real thick, but the actual length is maybe three inches or so. I would look to the average longhair today just like a straight, regular citizen. I don't really understand it."
Phillie General Manager John Quinn said, "On four occasions Manager Lou Kahn spoke to McGraw about getting a haircut. He gave him time to get one. McGraw didn't. In view of the information we send to our players Lou said there was nothing else he could do."
McGraw commented, "People in baseball are all from the old school. It's always the past. But people change. The public changes. The people they're signing now have changed. I think baseball is losing fans in the 17-to-25 age group, and that isn't right. The peace movement and all, that should fit right in with baseball. It's sort of a nonviolent sport compared with the other major sports. It should fit right in with that age group if they promoted it the right way. I don't know for sure what they could do, but maybe they could start by giving the players themselves a little more in the way of individual personalities rather than make them all look the same when they take the field. They're always talking about the old days. Well, in the old days there seemed to be more color, more personality, more individualism.
"I think the whole thing is a little silly."
$2 IS $2
Bay Meadows Racetrack, near San Francisco, conducted a perilous experiment a week or so ago during a county fair race meeting. The traditional daily-double bet was raised from $2 to $5. Admittedly, it was a trial balloon, but one that was intently watched by racetrack operators all over the country. If Bay Meadows took the $5 double in stride it would indicate the bettors everywhere were ready for inflation at the mutuel windows. Win, place and show windows would probably follow along, and the $2 bet would go the way of the 5� cigar and the nickel phone call.
But the trial balloon barely floated out of the starting gate. After one week the daily-double handle was down 32.7% from last year's county fair meeting. Other betting was up 8%, indicating that the money was there. The windows were quickly reconverted to the old $2 bet and, wham, the handle jumped 50% almost immediately, from around $40,000 a day for the $5 bet to $60,000 for the $2 one. These are minuscule sums in racing, yet the track received calls from major tracks—including those in New York and New Jersey, 3,000 miles away—asking how the double was doing.