THE ORIOLES and the Maryland Stadium Authority are said to be leaning toward the name Camden Yards for the new baseball park opening there in 18 months. They like the historical connotation of the neighborhood. Problem: Eli Jacobs, Larry Lucchino, Janet Marie Smith and Bruce Hoffman haven't been in Baltimore long enough to know there was no such neighborhood as Camden Yards until the new stadium issue came up. Baltimoreans referred to it -- if they referred to it at all -- as "the Camden Station area." The yards are merely the freight yards behind the station. Nobody lived there. Anyway, Camden is in New Jersey.
City councilman Joe DiBlasi, who represents the new stadium area, says he never heard anybody speak of Camden Yards when he was growing up in South Baltimore. DiBlasi's main concern is the loss of the memorial (Memorial Stadium) to our war dead. Says he: "If they like the name Camden, why not call it Camden Memorial Stadium, or just New Memorial Stadium? The neighborhood around there is Otterbein."
* With the NBA regular season a week off, you might say the Washington Bullets' new general manager, John Nash, is something less than a roaring success. He can't sign Ledell Eackles, who's threatening to sit out the season. He can't even find John Williams, who's so important to the team that, when it lost him to injury early last year, it all but gave up on the season.
And the Bullets didn't endear themselves around here when they cut a local guy, Loyola College grad and Washington area resident Mike Morrison, who was good enough to play for Phoenix last year. We're going to see a lot of pictures of Wes Unseld in the Bullets' promotions this year. What else do they have to sell?
The winningest coach in Bullets history is Baltimore native Gene Shue, who won 522 games for owner Abe Pollin. Next is Dick Motta with 185. Shue, now Philadelphia's general manager, brings his 76ers to the Arena Dec. 26 to play the Bullets.
* Capt. Bo Coppedge, retired Navy athletic director, noted that Southern Cal has suspended quarterback Todd Marinovich from Saturday's game with Arizona State because he missed classes. Said Bo: "If every player who misses classes gets suspended there are going to be a lot of games canceled."
* Who would have thought, going into the season, that we'd reach the end of October and neither Maryland nor Navy would have a losing record? Navy is 3-3 and at home this week against James Madison. The Terps are 5-3, talking bowl game and playing at North Carolina Saturday. "No coach is satisfied with 3-3," says Navy's George Chaump. Asked if he'd settle for a final record of 6-5, Maryland's Joe Krivak answers: "Any coach, you get greedy. You're not satisfied with 6-5."
* Baltimore insurance executive Frank Riggs, who once captained the North Carolina football team, says the Tar Heels' 4-2-1 record -- after some lean years at Chapel Hill -- reflects the great recruiting job coach Mack Brown has done the last two years. "It takes a coach time," says Riggs. "Look at George Welsh at Virginia. He wasn't an overnight success. Now he's got them No. 1 in the country."
* UMBC has signed with WITH-AM (1230) to broadcast 22 basketball games this winter, home and away. Howard Mash will do play-by-play. The opener is with Howard, Nov. 27. Then comes the Beltway Classic at Towson State Nov. 30-Dec. 1. On Dec. 4 UMBC will play Boston University in the Baltimore Arena. Retrievers road games in January will be at Loyola of Chicago, Maryland and Kansas.