March can come in like a young lion now: all's well, that old lion of a Carl Yastrzemski kissed February goodbye by -- holdout? What holdout? -- reporting to Red Sox camp rarin' to play his 19th year of Boston baseball.

Yaz declared in Winter Haven, Fla., he'll be talking 1980-81 terms with Bosox brass right along but meantime, "We have a valid contract for this upcoming season... I will not play out my option... I think everything will be done in good faith... I started here with the Red Sox in 1961 and I will finish here with the Red Sox in 1981."

Ron Fairly, who had visions of not being finished until 1980, so as to become one of baseball's handful whose big-league careers spanned four decades (he came up with the Dodgers in 1958), hung up his bat and glove yesterday. The coming of Rod Carew to California displaces Fairly from Angle first base, but at 40 the lifetime.266 batsman (.300 in four World Series) stays right next to his version of heaven: Gene Autry owns KTLA-TV in Los Angeles as well as the Anaheim ball club, and Fairly now will work for Autry as a baseball commentator...

Tom McVie's back in the swing -- suddenly coach of the World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets -- and that has to make a lot of folks happy. For instance, Abe Pollin: he saves how much, $60,000? as the Jets buy out the 1 1/2 years left on McVie's contract for (not) coaching the Caps. For instance, Don Cherry: Maybe the Boston Bruin coach can quilt looking over his shoulder, finally. And innumerable Washington well-wishers who admired McVie's work here...

Another retiree: Coach Margaret Wade of Delta State, the distaff John Wooden, as it were. Wade, 66, said, "I've missed several games this season due to ill health and it gets harder and harder to traver." Her Delta basketball teams traveled far, to three consecutive national womenhs basketball titles (1975-76-77); before settling into mere phys ed teaching, she'll take a 20-10 edition into the AIAW regionals looking for her 157th victory (et seq) in six years at the university in Cleveland, Miss., where previously her high school squads won 335 of 402....

Maryland keeps hauling 6-4, 250-pounders out of Pennsylvania's footbal recruiting pool; add signee Harry Venezia, Norristown Kenrick tackle... Hmmm, last month we passed along the Terp signing of tight end Russell Davis of Central Dauphin East in suburban Harrisburg. Comes now a report form federal court in Williamsport, Pa., of senior athlete Russell Davis winning a rulign that the Central Dauphin school superintendent had no authority to suspend him from the basketball team for the season. But Davis, set down after a Jan. 30 locker room fight in which a teammate's jaw was broken remained off the team. The judge upheld the decision of the coach and the principal at the lad's school to suspend him "indeifnitely."