The Yankees: bubble, bubble, toil and -- so much toil that players grouse anew that George Steinbrenner has 'em headed for "major league burnout."
That was Tommy John's term, after Big George ordered his players back to the Bronx stadium to practice the morning after a 13-inning, 9-7 loss to Oakland. The flight to Seattle to confront Gaylord Perry, trying for No. 300 last night, was next order of business, so, John said, "I had to get up at 6 a.m. to get packed, etc. What the heck, though, we didn't have any days off in spring training, so why should we have them now?"
Trade seeking Oscar Gamble: "This workout stinks!"
Goose Gossage: "Before long they'll have us sleeping in the seats after games" . . .
Rick Cerone took the opposite tack, saying maybe the 9-13 Yanks needed wakeup call: "People should stop looking for excuses and start playing baseball" . . . Some people, though, were looking at something else: a taped, wiretapped conversation to be presented in a state Supreme Court trial in Manhattan in which someone says one or more Yankee players use cocaine. "Just two drug dealers talking," said a court source. But it drew scare headlines in the New York papers--leading to mistrial, after the judge found that "about a hundred percent" of the jurors had read the stuff he labeled "alleged, third-source hearsay on top of hearsay" and said any Yankee names would therefore have been bleeped out.
For the Cleveland Indians, worse news: ace Bert Blyleven out for the year. Dr. Frank Jobe, after operating on the right-hander's pitching elbow, said Blyleven won't be able to throw for four or five months.
An old Oriole has passed on: Frank (Beauty) McGowan, 79; in Hamden, Conn. An International League Hall of Famer (Baltimore and Buffalo), a 375-game big-leaguer (.262). Worked for the AL Orioles since 1953, as New England scouting supervisor until 1973, then scouting consultant . . .
Capital Centre, which sold "a lot" of Hearns-Hagler closed-circuit tickets before postponement, will issue refunds at its box office or by mail until May 24 (original fight date); thereafter, by mail only. Or honor tickets whenever they fight . . .
Batting hit-a-thon, with home run derby: Saturday, George Mason U. ball field, starts noon, leads to GMU varsity-alumni game at 6, proceeds of shebang toward a baseball scholarship. . . Basketball Saturday/Sunday, Northwestern High, Hyattsville: Maryland Junior Olympic Association tournament, 19 and under . . .
Clemson's president, Bill Atchley, appoints an internal committee to investigate football recruiting, says if violations are found, the university is ready "to take its medicine" . . .
Gremlins. Your morning newspaper knows, despite yesterday's slip, Bjorn Borg isn't Wimbledon defending champ.
A. Big seven pitchers, 20th century, year won No. 300: Matthewson (1912), Plank (1915), Johnson (1920), Alexander (1924), Grove (1941), Spahn (1961), Wynn (1963). Cy Young won only 226 (of 511) after 1900 . . . Q. First-time opponent for Navy in football '82?