FIRED: As manager of the New York Yankees, BILLY MARTIN, after he allegedly lied about punching a salesman in the face in a Bloomington, Minn, hotel. Under Martin, the Yankees won two consecutive pennants and the 1977 World Series. He resigned under pressure on July 24, 1978 and was rehired on June 19, 1979. He guided New York to a fourth-place finish in the American League East this season, 13� games behind Baltimore. DICK HOWSER, 42, a former Yankee coach and currently the coach at Florida State, will replace Martin.
HIRED: As manager of the Kansas City Royals, JIM FREY, 48, for the past 16 seasons a minor league manager, scout and coach for the Baltimore Orioles.
RETIRED: AFFIRMED, thoroughbred racing's alltime leading money-earner ($2,393,818) and winner of the 1978 Triple Crown. The Harbor View Farm 4-year-old won 22 of his 29 starts, including a series of classic duels against Alydar, who finished second to him in each of the Triple Crown events. Affirmed will stand at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky.
DIED: JOHN DREBINGER, 88, baseball writer for The New York Times from 1923 to 1964; in Greensboro, N.C.