The athletes sought out Frank Shorter, the marathon runner, for legal advice. Shorter suggested that they ask the AAU to present their case to the IAAF at its meeting in Holland in November. "This is all still in the talking stage," Shorter says. "We'll try to be as delicate and self-effacing as possible. I've talked to the AAU, and it has not been a terribly antagonistic situation. If everybody stays calm, I think everything will work out."
Ollan Cassell, executive director of the AAU, has made no firm comment, but reports are that he is sympathetic to the plight of the professionals.
"We're athletes," says Smith. "If we can't compete, we're at a loss. I hope the IAAF has the heart to let us back in."
As a rule, baseball managers are good at obfuscating when they are asked a tough question by the working press. Not exactly lying, you understand, but double-talking a little, shifting emphasis, changing the subject, doing anything to avoid a direct answer.
Not so Paul Richards, the leathery old manager Bill Veeck dragged out of retirement last winter to run the Chicago White Sox. Richards has not had too much success in the won-lost column this season, but his candor has been delightful. In a recent game against the Kansas City Royals, when Chicago Outfielder Ralph Garr tried to score from first base on a double and was thrown out by a mile at home plate, a difference of opinion arose between Garr and Third Base Coach Jim Busby. "I was holding him up," said Busby, meaning he had signaled Garr to stop at third. "He was sending me," Garr protested. When reporters asked Richards about the play, the manager disdained the usual gambit of covering for both coach and player, and said calmly, "Looked to me as though Busby was sending him. It was a flat mistake. Garr didn't have a chance."
In that same game, Richards started a rookie pitcher named Larry Monroe, a local boy who had 20 relatives and friends watching his debut as a starter. Monroe pitched well enough, giving up a run on a George Brett triple in the first inning but settling down in the second. Then Richards, who had started the young righthander as a ploy to get the Royals to load their lineup with left-handed batters, abruptly took the highly touted rookie out of the game and replaced him with a lefty. Later, the reporters asked about this surprising move. "I just didn't want to send him back out there again," Richards explained. " Brett and John Mayberry might have killed him the second time around."
You got your ears on, CBers? According to Donald L. Lucas, who is director of the Institute for Telecommunications Sciences, people with CB radios have about two years of fun left before things begin to go haywire. Beginning in 1978, says Lucas, long-range interference from increased solar activity—commonly referred to as sunspots—will render CB radios "nearly useless for their intended purposes," and the difficulty could last five or six years. He says the solar activity will cause CB signals to ricochet back to earth many miles from their source. "You can imagine," he says, "the mess caused by 20 million signals bouncing around the country at random."
But don't fret, Old Buddy, things may not become as staticky and confused as Lucas predicts. The sun's interference with electronic communication recurs in 11-year cycles, which means that veteran CBers have been through it before—and, they claim, with only minor or sporadic difficulty. Eugene Parker, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, says predictions of a wipeout are greatly exaggerated. "Worrying about sunspots is like worrying about a full moon," he declares. "CBers will get through this next splurge with no trouble at all."