The News' dilemma was similar to one faced at roughly this point in the 1978 season by Boston's Herald American. The Red Sox were leading the American League East by 10 games, and the newspaper began running the daily "magic number" of combined Boston wins and opponents' losses that would clinch the title. But when the Red Sox collapsed—that was the year the onrushing Yankees, once 14� games back, ended up beating them in a divisional playoff—the feature was ignominiously discontinued. The Mets would dearly love to see the News' feature suffer the same fate but are only too aware that in 1961 Maris enjoyed a torrid midsummer streak. Which explains why Third Baseman Elliott Maddox recently was overheard telling his teammates, "Gentlemen, we are putting a lot of pressure on Roger Maris now that we are ahead of him, but we can't let up."