NEW YORK Mayor Abe Beame has problems aplenty, but at least he doesn't have to manage the Yankees, whose fieldleader, Billy Martin, is hanging onto his job by a pinstripe.
After general manager Gabe Paul assured Martin that he hasn't been fired - yet - the feisty manager told reporters that he has pride in the Yankees but has been hurt and embrassed by multiplying rumors of a pending pink slip.
Martin indicated he would give up the job rather than except the continual abuse, but "I can't afford to quit. If (Mickey) Mantle had just got the insurance business going . . ."
"Managing the field is easy. I can win 150 games on the field. It's the clubhouse that's killing me," Martin said, referring to a morale problem among the players because of the rancor caused by Reggie Jackson and the Yankees' standing. The club is 2 1/2 games first-place Baltimore in the American League East and was rained out last night.
"I've got to believe there is something to these rumors." Martin said. The latest rumor yesterday was that Montreal manager Dick Williams might replace Martin. But Montreal general manager Charlie Fox said no one from the Yankees has asked for permission would be denied anyway.
Martin's repalcement, if there is to be one, won't be Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson, whosigned a two-year extension of his contract yesterday.