The latest last straw in Yankee-land finds the Bronx brass huddling over possible trades -- presumably featuring Jackson, of whom Manager Martin is saying, again, more or less, "We have to get rid of him. He is a disruptive force."

What should have been a happy occasion, Catfish Hunter Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium, soured Sunday when Jackson (he told the New York Daily News) was denied the privilege of presenting a special gift to his long-time teammate and friend from Oakland days, pitcher Hunter, who is retiring at season's end.

"George (Steinbrenner) wouldn't let me present it on the field," Jackson said, and Reggie went on about it (in print) until Martin declared, "I get tired of picking up the paper every day and seeing a headline about this player saying something about that player or the owner. It's not the Yankee way" . . .

While 48 bottles of champagne repose at the ready for Baltimore Oriole pennant-clinching consumption, presumably in Detroit, Zimmer's Boston Red Sox drowned a few sorrows at dinner following Sunday's 13-3 loss in Baltimore. And on the team bus to the airport, second baseman Sizemore and friends got a hazing and barb-tossing that finally prompted Zimmer to go after Sizemore twice (the skipper was restrained by the traveling secretary).

Sizemore eventually apologized -- maybe remembering how he got waived to Boston by the Cubs this summer after saying some things at a well lubricated occasion in Montreal that didn't sit well with Manager Herman Franks.