"The Yankees were cheapskates, and we want everybody to remember them as cheapskates."

Nick Garris chimed in: "If we take that, it will be like taking tip money instead of really getting a Series share which we feel was coming to us. What if the Yankees had lost the playoff? We would have owed them money" . . .

Pro golf sensation Bruce Lietzke's father had died in Houston, at 65, after a long bout with emphysema; good that Norman Lietzke lasted to see his son hit the heights, too bad he won't see Bruce go for the Big Four title . . . John Gordon, play-by-play broadcaster on U. of Virginia football and basketball and an athletic department publicist these last four years, is leaving to become sports director at WBNS radio, Columbus, Ohio . . . Another Rubin Carter in trouble: the 260-pound Denver Bronco defensive lineman, out of U. of Miami, is in the jail section of a Miami hospital, "good condition." He was arrested Thursday night following a disturbance on the university campus allegedly assulted several people unti campus and Coral Gables police subdues him. A hospital spokesman said, "He is being held for his own safety and the safety of others. He is being restrained" . . . If you don't think that was a big win for Steeler tackle Ernie Holmes in beating the cocaine rap at Amarillo with the help of character witnesses all the way to NFL chaplain Ira Lee Eshleman, consider that tabacco-chewing prosecutor Tom Curtis last year won a gambling conviction against erstwhile world poke champion "Amarillo Slim" Preston! . . .

North Carolina center Tom LaGarde, bum knee, and Duke guard Tate Armstrong, cracked wrist, won't play when their teams meet in today's regular-season basketball finale. But both sides are hopeful these aces will be ready for the ACC tournament starting Thursday . . Clemson's new head football coach Charley Pell not only scrapped the veer for the I formation but indefinitely suspended first-string running backs Ken Callicutt - who needs 636 yards to become all-time Tiger rusher - and Harold Goggins for academic and disciplinary violations, respectively. If their schoolwork is up at term's end he may reinstate them for fall. Meanwhile, Tree Rollins' No. 30 jersey, at halftime of tonight's Clemson-Roanoke game, becomes the first ever retired by the school, Shucks, York College of the City U. of New York beat 'em to it, retiring the No. 42 of senior forward Walter Murray before last night's game against Baruch - the senior scored 1,900-plus points in 90 games . . .

World Team Tennis is nothing if not innovative. WTT is (1) joining with the National Recreation and Park Association to endorse a Mr. Peanut Target Tennis activity for youngsters similar to football's punt, pass and kick; (2) reveling in a contract by its Golden Gaters to carry stroke-by-stroke coverage of their matches by 50,000-watt KNBR radio of Oakland; (3) holding an April 30 league match between the Phoenix Racquets, with Chris Evert, and the Soviet entry in Plains, Ga. It's for local charities and Billy Carter is enthusiastic although he "doesn't know one end of the tennis racket from the other."

Looking up at the Capitals from the Norris Division basement is no time to stand pat. So the Detroit Red Wings, to quote last night's dispatch hot off the wire, "made a bold bid to revive their flagging fortunes" by acquiring the NHL rights to defenseman Marty Howe "in an apparent step to reunite the Howe family in the city where their father grew to a quarter century of greatness."

Landing Marty from the Montreal Canadiens, who don't need immediate help, was no problem - an undisclosed, but not a No. 1, draft pick satisfied them. But getting Mark Howe's NHL rights from the Boston Bruins may be expensive. Said Bruin general manager Harry Sinden, when asked if the price would be steep, "Do you think the Pope would move out of the Vatican? We drafted Mark Howe with the specific purpose of signing him three years ago?

So did the canadiens with Marty, but we all know that they went to the WHA's Houston Aeros with papa Gordie and mama Colleen, where they lived and played happily ever after - until this year when the Aeros came up short at the box office and couldn't meet the payroll, let alone expenses.

All the Howes' contracts expire at the end of this season - Gordie's as a player/executive (he'll be 49 on March 31), Colleen's as a staffer with her own office, and the boys as players - Mark at wing and Marty on defense. And are they ready to leave?

Said Mrs. Howe of the hate mail that has been pouring in lately from Texas fans: "It is sad that a man with that much compassion could be called such names. These people only read the headlines, 'Howes get paychecks while other Aeros do not.' We did get paid, ture. But there is so much more to it. We took cuts and deferments until we couldn't take any more. Now we are the the bad guys."

There probably won't be any Aeros next season, so Gordie Howe might well forget and forgive the way it was when the NHL's all-time scorer (still is, 786 goals and 1,023 assists) quit in bitterness, after two years retirement as a Red Wing vice president, to make history as part of pro sports' first father-son playing trio. How bad was it in Detroit then? His parting shot was, "They gave me the mushroom treatment. They kept me in the dark, except once in a while they opened the door and threw garbage on me."

And now? . . .

So out of the goodness of their skin-flint hearts, the New York Yankee players finally came up with $100 apiece as a championship bonus to the Stadium's four batboys? So, say two of the batboys, stick it.

Walter Gershoff, the college sophomore who brought to light that while the first-class Cincy Reds cut their batboys in for World Series shares of $6,591 each and New Yorkers voted zilch, said he won't accept the