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Injury report of the '80s:

"Wade Boggs, the Boston Red Sox perennial .300 hittter, has suffered a traumatic, career-threatening injury, the team has announced. `A complete tear of the libido,' said a grim team physician, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. `At this point, we do not know if surgery is required, or if the affected area can be splinted and allowed to heal over time.' "

Penthouse, no doubt, will obtain the X-rays. Barbara Walters will ask Gadhafi about it. There are no problems so personal that they can't be ladled into the public trough.

The Boggs-Margo Adams meltdown keeps getting stranger. Second hands no longer sweep; they flinch in anticipation of what might be coming next.

Boggs' former traveling mistress, played here by Glenn Close, picks out the lint from the belly button of a seedy little affair and drops it all along the way. She bargains with that publishing paragon, Penthouse, for the full story while Boggs tries to repair his home and complete a remarkable transition from randy baseball star to fuzzy-cheeked choirboy.

All in plain view. The sports pages become a peep show. Read them and blush.

Psst. Hey buddy, want some compromising pictures of Bob Stanley? Got wallet-size 8x10s, anything you want. Coming soon from Margo Enterprises: The compromising Bob Stanley poster. Sox are red with embarrassment Gad, this is weird. In fact, it is climbing the chart of all-time weird. Boosting it is the latest revelation that Boggs, while watching Geraldo Rivera dissect the subject with a chainsaw, decided that he had been afflicted with an overly active sex drive. But, happily, he is getting better now.

Baseball's best hitter is diagnosing himself by talk shows. Thank heavens he missed the one about left-handed transsexual Druids, or he'd be convinced he's a high priestess trapped in a third baseman's body. "I feel that's exactly what happened _ that a disease was overtaking Wade Boggs and it did for four years," Boggs told a Tampa sportscaster. "I've just cleaned up my life and made peace with myself, made peace with my family and gone on with my life."

His confessions, of course, will only feed more talk-show spinoffs as they reach for more bizarre themes.

Watch today as Donahue exposes a new, powerful aphrodisiac with more mystical properties than rhino horn or white wine. It is a show you must not miss. We call it Broiled Chicken: High Test for the Hormones.

Or: Coming next on Sally Jessy Raphael, a panel of experts becomes locked in a debate over whether singles hitters are more prone to extramarital affairs than power hitters. The scandal that changed baseball.

It just won't go away, no matter how Boggs tries to push it aside with the power of his admissions and his public purgings. Old friend Adams won't let the dirt reach the rinse cycle.

And the real power of this grimy little episode hasn't even been felt yet.

With the start of the baseball season, we might expect players everywhere to rip down the centerfolds from their lockers and to replace them with cat calendars. Little black books will burn with enough candlepower to light Wrigley Field. The PTA will start clubhouse chapters. Dale Murphy will be considered a playboy.

"Hey, buddy, let's go get a beer after the game," one player will suggest. The other, mindful of the Boggs lesson, responds, "Nope. I'm going straight back to the hotel, lock the door and watch the Disney Channel."