Honor Frank and Brooks
I have the perfect name for the new stadium at Camden Yards. My idea is the only one I've heard that comes close to bringing forth the essence of what is so special about Orioles baseball.
The name should be Robinson Stadium. I see two statues serving as a gate to the main entrance -- Brooks on one side, Frank on the other. This dual-meaning name is also a sort of metaphor for racial harmony, and the aura surrounding Robinson Stadium certainly couldn't be a bad influence on the city of Baltimore.
Frank and Brooks are Orioles, true and blue, and although some may argue that both are too high-profile (especially Frank) in the present scheme of things to become immortalized, no future event could ever taint what they did on the field and what they represent in the hearts of Orioles fans.
How about Harbor Park?
It's time to wake up and smell the harbor. If you mention Baltimore anywhere in this country, the first response you'll here is, "Oh, yeah, Harborplace." Name the ballpark Harbor Park. It fits. It can be expanded to Harbor Parks when football comes back to town.
The football team's name? Well, the entire world knows of the Pride of Baltimore. How about The Baltimore Pride as the name of the football team playing in Harbor Parks?
No chews would be good news
Baseball is one of the great American traditions that is passed from generation to generation. However, a legal, but harmful, element lurks in the ballparks night after night. You can call it what you want, but this tradition of chewing tobacco, or dipping, must be outlawed. What is it about this carcinogen that would allow these public figures to broadcast their habits night after night?
This smokeless tobacco can be harmful to the players and the fans. What would happen if your child asked you what those ballplayers were chewing and spitting? Could you look the child straight in the eye and tell him that he is chewing tobacco? How would you react when you catch your child trying to mimic his heroes, with a wad of tobacco in his mouth? The baseball players of the '90s have critical influences on today's youth. Why should kids be exposed to this crime when celebrating a national pastime?
Cuts both ways
Although I was disappointed at the Orioles' release of Kevin Hickey, I found his comments on the matter laughable. Hickey lamented: "The thing that bothers me is that they waited until the last day. . . . It's all the money that comes into it."
The pitcher was referring to the fact that the Orioles released him the day before his entire annual salary of $245,000 would have been guaranteed. The Orioles followed a practice that is legal and above-board and adhered to by all major-league teams. It is simply a rule of the business Hickey is in.
Hickey implies that the Orioles were disloyal to him. It was the Orioles who resurrected Hickey's career three years ago, when no one else was interested. They paid him handsomely for his work and chose not to pay him when he was no longer an employee.
The standard for greed and disloyalty in baseball has been set by the players. Just look at Messrs. Clemens, Henderson, Bonds, Gooden, Bonilla and Strawberry, to name a few. The owners' only sin has been their insanely generous salaries to a bunch of ingrates.
No way, D.C.
Anyone who thinks Orioles owner Eli Jacobs would vote for Washington to get a National League team is not living in the real world.
Do you think after paying $60 million for the Orioles he's going to give up at least 25 percent of his yearly attendance? That adds up to a lot of lost bucks, something Jacobs would not stand for. Washington had no team when Jacobs bought the Orioles, and it won't have one as long as he continues as the Orioles owner.
I would like to publicly thank Orioles owner Eli Jacobs for sending me a ticket to the Orioles' opening game.
It can be difficult to obtain Opening Day tickets when you live more than 200 miles from Baltimore. Early this year, I wrote to the Orioles offices and expressed my frustrations. Jacobs graciously sent me a ticket via certified mail.
In Cooper's corner
I would like to let Kenny Cooper know that I appreciate what he has done for the Blast, and I am very glad that Ed Hale is keeping him aboard. It would not be a complete team without Cooper.
He should not let the negative letters that people have been writing get him down, because they obviously do not know what he has done for the Blast.
True, it was not the team's best season, but every sports team has an off season, and this was just an off season for the Blast. It gets very discouraging when you look out into the seats and see more empty than filled ones. I support the Blast and Kenny Cooper.
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