New York Manager Lou Piniella said yesterday that he and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner should stop airing their problems in public.

Piniella, in a statement released by team public relations director Harvey Greene before yesterday's game with the Detroit Tigers, was responding to a lengthy statement issued Saturday by Steinbrenner. On Saturday, Steinbrenner issued a release that claimed -- among other things -- Piniella refused to talk to him and wanted injured outfielder Rickey Henderson traded.

Piniella's release said: "In response to Mr. Steinbrenner's statement, I think enough has been said about too many things that concern absolutely nobody except the members of this organization. However, I must say I disagree with many aspects of Mr. Steinbrenner's comments and the players know that.

"Having said that, this is a 'family matter' and should be kept private. The players and coaches have busted their butts all season long and will continue to do so.These players represent Yankee tradition and I'm proud of them. Enough said." . . .

The bats confiscated Saturday from R.J. Reynolds of Pittsburgh and Tim Raines of Montreal were X-rayed and found to be free of cork, National League umpires supervisor Ed Vargo said. The bats were returned to the players before yesterday's Expos-Pirates game, said Vargo, who lives in nearby Butler, Pa. He said the bats were X-rayed at a hospital.

Expos Manager Bob Rodgers asked that Reynolds' bat be confiscated and checked for cork after the Pirates outfielder hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning of the Pirates' 5-2 victory Saturday night. After Raines hit a two-run homer in the sixth, Pirates Manager Jim Leyland demanded his bat also be inspected . . .

U.S. Rep. Buddy Roemer (D-La.) said he has been talking with the baseball commissioner's office about getting a black-owned major league team in New Orleans. Roemer, who is running for governor, suggested the idea as an alternative to incumbent Gov. Edwin Edwards' proposal of casino gambling in New Orleans. He told supporters at a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, La., that a baseball team "will bring more jobs than a casino."