Calvin Griffith, famous for his tight-budget baseball operation with the old, old Washington Senators and more recently with the Minnesota Twins, fulminated at his fellow owners both before and after he traded away the Twins' pitching star Bert Blyleven because of what Griffith felt were outrageous salary demands. Blyleven wanted a $1.2-million, four-year contract or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and Griffith told him to go make a deal for himself. To the press the Minnesota owner said, "Blyleven says he wants to play on the Coast but I imagine he'd play anywhere they're silly enough to pay him that much." The silly area was Texas, the Rangers agreeing to give Blyleven something like half a million over three years. A few days later Griffith turned his fiscal attention to the situation in Boston, where despite the Red Sox reputation for high salaries Fred Lynn, Carlton Fisk and Rick Burleson remained unsigned. Showing little sympathy for the American League's defending champions, Griffith said, "Let's face it. People in my type of situation have always considered the Red Sox the team that screwed things up for everyone else the way they pay."
ALL IN FAVOR SAY EYES
What makes your eyes burn in a swimming pool? Too much chlorine, right? Wrong. It's too little chlorine. This intelligence is provided by Jack Nelson, the U.S. Olympic women's swimming team coach, writing in The Swimming Times, a British publication.
Nelson explains that there are two forms of chlorine. The first burns the eyes and has the smell we associate with chlorine because it is combined with ammonia and nitrogen. The other form, which is nitrogen-free, destroys ammonia compounds, does not irritate the eyes and has no odor. According to Nelson, your eyes burn when there isn't enough free chlorine in the water to disintegrate the chlorine-ammonia compounds. Free chlorine also makes water pellucid by chemically destroying sweat, body oils and other substances that make water cloudy.
Simple? Well, no. And because the chemistry of pool water is so complicated, more and more swimming-pool operators are using automated devices that distinguish between "good" and "bad" chlorine and keep the "bad" under control by holding chlorine residuals at the right level.
A beneficial side effect of automated control is the astonishing clarity of the water. During the 1975 NCAA championships at Cleveland State University, TV cameras shooting through underwater windows picked up details in tiles 50 meters away. The Olympic pools at Montreal will be similarly automated, which should enhance the competition in the eyes of the beholders as well as in those of the swimmer.
After Louisiana Administration Commissioner Charles Roemer revealed that two business groups had expressed interest in buying the Superdome, the following "real-estate ad" appeared in agate type on page one of the New Orleans States-Item:
"Custom-built home on corner lot in CBD [Central Business District], still good as new, located on 52 spacious acres, landscaped with 450 trees, 500 plants and 10,000 ground-cover plants—a gardener's delight. Must be seen to believe. Luxury multi-level home is place elegante. Need room for the kiddies? There are 64 private suites, 88 bathrooms and six giant-screen televisions to accommodate their every need. Parking garages beaucoup—5,000 of them in split-level sections to allow your guests at your housewarming bash to exit in luxury. Thirty-two escalators and 10 elevators will carry you to every corner of your dream come true. For exercise, there are colorfully carpeted concourses and ramps, plus basketball court and football field. More than 15,000 lights will brighten up every day. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. $165-million—will accept offer. Contact Charles Roemer, State Division of Administration, Baton Rouge, for details. Immediate occupancy available."
Details might include the fact that the Superdome incurred a deficit of $12 million in its first year of operation and that only a reshuffling of funds by Louisiana Governor Edwin W. Edwards kept the place open past April 1. Still, that might mean you could swing the deal for substantially less than the $165 million the Supe cost to build. If you can just get your hands on a mortgage....