George Steinbrenner amplifies on his blast at the schedulemakers for setting up his "tired" Yankees for their double defeat in a two-game, one-night stand in Milwaukee Wednesday by initiating his team was mouse-trapped as an offshoot of a switch instigated by ABC-TV.
The network counters the "ABC makes its Monday night baseball games selection strictly from games made available to it by major league baseball. At no time did ABC pressure anyone in baseball to change a game to June 26."
"Originally we had off Monday, June 26, and Thursday, June 29," according to Steinbrenner. "Evidently TV requested the AL move the Boston games to Monday and Tuesday so one could be televised Monday night, thus canceling our day off Monday. This . . . left open dates Wednesday and Thursday, June 28 and 29" - seeing which, Brewer President Bud Selig petitioned the league office to transfer the twi-nighter, which had been penciled in for September to the potentially more attractive June date.
After all, the Yanks would have Thursday to rest, so the AL approved, Steinbrenner's office approved and the Yankee players even went so far as to waive the rule which forbids clubs from playing on 20 consecutive dates.
So Steinbrenner's gripe is curious. Curious too is ABC's tuning that Red Sox-Yankee game out of the Washington market - especially in light of what the network now has determined about the Bosox-Yank telecast of the previous Monday, June 19: it drew the highest audience share (28 percent) of any prime-time regular-season baseball games since April 8, 1974 when 36 percent of those looking at TV watched the Braves-Dodgers game in which Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's accord with home run No. 715 . . .