New York Yankee hating is as traditional a summer pastime as drinking lemonade and scratching mosquito bites. But this year, thanks to Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner and the nasty odor created by compost heaps of money, anti-Yankee feeling has reached new levels of virulence.
Nowhere is the feeling running higher than in Kansas City. On July 25 the Royals were scheduled to play their last game of the season against the Yankees, a night game in New York. But at 4:30 p.m., the Yankee management called the game because of rain. The game has been rescheduled for the night of Aug. 29, which means that the Royals will not only lose one of their two off days for the month but will also be playing 22 consecutive days.
"In all my years in baseball, never have I seen a game called that early, especially a season's series finale," growled Joe Burke, the Royals' general manager. "Who ever heard of calling a game that early because of a forecast for rain? It didn't rain after 7 o'clock that night. The Yankees just didn't want to play the game that night."
It may be merely coincidence, but by canceling the game, the Yankees gained a two-day rest for Sparky Lyle's worn-out arm, and they were able to save starter Catfish Hunter for the opening game of their series with Eastern Division rival Baltimore.
It was not the first time this season the Yankees have canceled a game under suspicious circumstances. The other was on July 6, when the Yankees, in the midst of the worst of their domestic troubles, were scheduled to play Cleveland at night. The game was called at 5 p.m. of a perfectly playable day because of, according to the Yankees, "rain and poor field conditions."
According to the rules, a team can postpone a game up until the official starting time. After that only the umpires have the power, except in the final month of the season. Then only the umpires can cancel a game on game day.
The Yankees, if they keep it up, are going to be responsible for a rules change that will leave cancellations on game day to the umpires throughout the season.
Joan Joyce, one of the greatest of all female athletes, earned her LPGA player's card a couple of weeks ago with rounds of 75-78-78-76—307 at the Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg, Ohio. It was her second try, but when Joyce makes up her mind to do something, she generally pulls it off. She is 21-3 this season pitching for the Connecticut Falcons of the International Women's Professional Softball Association, and when she is not pitching she plays first base. In her 21-year softball career, much of it with the Raybestos Brakettes, she has thrown 40 perfect games and 138 no-hitters.
Furthermore, Joyce was three times an All-America basketball player in AAU ball and five times in the Women's Basketball Association. She averaged 25 points a game during her nine-year career. And she has a bowling average of 180. When she took up golf in earnest 18 months ago, she was already 35 years old, but at the LPGA school she tied for seventh, five strokes behind Donna Horton White, the 23-year-old U.S. Amateur champion, and six strokes behind Nancy Lopez, 20, the collegiate phenom who has twice finished second in the Women's Open.