Brad Corbett is so depressed with "bad press" as owner of the Texas Rangers he is talking of doing what he considered and didn't do in 1977: selling the ball club that began life as Washington Senators II.

"Do you know what it is to pick up the paper, have your kids come home and to think you're a screaming idiot and that everything you do is wrong?" Corbett complained.

"I hope, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that within the next six months I can unload the ball club. And it could be to some Arabs. And you guys [reporters] can cut them up."

A lot of the Texas newspaper criticism has been merely quoting Ranger star Al Oliver as questioning Corbett's already having unloaded a lot of the ball club in trades: Bobby bonds, Juan Beniquez, Mike Hargrove, Toby Harrah, et al.

And his firing of Billy Hunter as manager, then letting popular front-office execs Dan O'Brien and Hal Keller vamoose to Seattle.

Ah yes, Billy Hunter. In accepting the baseball coaching job at Towson State (thus girding to do battle with Hap Spuhler's George Mason powerhouse) this week, the longtime Oriole third-base coach said he is looking forward to players "who are all eyes and ears, and want to learn." He said he turned down six major league coaching jobs, continuing on Corbett's payroll in some nebulous capacity besides working for Towson, and chirped, "I live 3.7 miles from this beautiful campus. I can get here very easily (from Lutherville, Md.), even if my car breaks down."

Richard Petty, the stock car racing legend, a CBS-TV crew and a whole bunch of onlookers watched the youth climb into a stock car yesterday at Daytona International and in his first laps on a superspeedway, match Petty's 183-mph qualifying speed in the same vehicle for last year's Firecracker 400. Petty noted, after the remarkable performance despite winds gusting to 40 mph, that the newcomer had gone straight to the big track rather than the traditional climb up the ladder.

Oh, sure, King Richard noted, the prospect had a big built-in advantage: his name is Kyle Petty, 18, son of Richard and grandson of pervious-generation stock ace Lee Petty. "I doubt," said Richard, "if any driver ever had more going for him starting out."

"I love it," boomed Kyle after the trial.

The school board in Becker, Minn., (pop. 365), today takes up the case of Timothy Zimmerman, basketball coach. His Becker High team lost at Big Lake last week, upon which Zimmerman presented old friend John Bruns, coach of the unbeaten winners, a bottle of champagne. Everybody laughed -- except the school superintendent, who upon reading the newspaper report quoting Zimmerman as joshing, "I got it into the building, John. Now you can get it out," suspended Zimmerman as coach. State law prohibits liquor in a school building.