Then Cashen went into the more interesting side effects. "You have to consider you don't just lose the year. How many of your season-ticket holders and regular fans are going to discover while you're out that they don't really need baseball that much, that they can do without it? How many advertisers are going to find other places to put their money and maybe decide they get just as good results there? All these things have to be considered in making the decision to lay out a year."
In other words, if there is no settlement everyone strikes out.
BALANCE OF TRADE
The malaise that seems to be afflicting American horse racing (strikes, off-track betting inroads, decline in betting and attendance) may have been reflected a few weeks ago at the first dispersal sale of horses that belonged to George D. Widener, who died last year. Top price at the sale, and a world record for a broodmare, was $450,000 paid for What a Treat, who is in foal to Vaguely Noble. The significance of this enormous bid is that it was made by France's Office du Pur Sang, which had to top the price offered by agents bidding for Japan. Granted, this was only one mare, one horse, but it used to be that top racing stock flowed into the U.S.
What is wrong with Jim Ryun? All us amateur Freuds in the sportswriting trade have analyzed his psyche down to the last twitch of the Id, but now Dr. George Sheehan, the distance runner and cardiologist, suggests it might simply be that Ryun has mononucleosis again. The "kissing disease" that hits the healthiest segment of the population, young adults, is still a mystery to the medical profession, but Sheehan cites a doctor who believes the mononucleosis virus stays in the body forever. And he points out that the disease almost never recurs without the accompaniment of exhaustion. One demanding track coach who subjected his runners to an exceptionally stern training schedule (with his methods, Sheehan says, you were either a national champion or in the infirmary) found his squad shot through with 1) rebellion and 2) mono.
In 1968, after he had mononucleosis, Ryun attempted to make the Olympic team at both 1,500 and 800 meters. He ran disastrously in the 800 trials but made it in the 1,500 and came back to run splendidly that fall in finishing second to Kip Keino in Mexico City. In subsequent years, after strenuous training, he failed under stress in key races, most recently in the Champions Meet a few weeks ago in Los Angeles.
Sheehan writes, "From my vantage point Ryun looks like a typical mono victim, the familiar formula of excess stress plus a susceptible athlete.... He has been caught in the excessive mileage trap and apparently can't handle it." In other words, less stringent training rather than more and more work may be what Ryun needs to return to the top level of international racing.
ATTENTION ALL MALES
In Edwardian times gentlemen were wont to hang around stage doors to recruit from the chorus line. Now they may become Locker Room Johnnies. Dr. Christine Pickard, a consultant on birth control and sex problems in England, has concluded that women athletes are better lovers.
"Athletes are physical creatures," reports Dr. Pickard. "Their bodies are important to them. The physical sensations, touch, the ripple of muscles, play a central role in their lives." In general, she claims, women athletes "are more interested in sex and physically more responsive than their less active sisters." Developed muscles, she maintains, are une charme de plus. Muscles, in her opinion, are "much better than scrawn or flab." We may yet see the time when figure skating supersedes burlesque.