BYPLAY: Encountering the Yankees

The Yankees were going to play two games against the Boston Red Sox, good teams, old rivals, jousting in the freshness of another baseball season. That was the main event, and it was going to be a good one, but the sideshows made more noise.

Dick Young, gifted, didactic and the senior baseball writer in Manhattan, forecast the imminent firing of Billy Martin, the Yankee manager. "Billy had the world by the fine hair, and he has loused it up," Young wrote with consistent, if unappealing imagery.

Sitting in his office under the triple tiers of the stadium, Martin rehearsed the...

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