Baseball establishment may think Weinglass is bad gamble

Bill Tanton F

June 25, 1991|By Bill Tanton

* The overwhelming 93 percent support for Boogie Weinglass as a potential owner of the Orioles shown in poll results in this paper yesterday illustrates the difference between the feelings of the general public and those of the baseball establishment.

You can't get any more establishment than Lee MacPhail, son of an ex-owner, himself a former Orioles and Yankees GM and onetime American League president. When MacPhail was here last week to see his son's Twins (Andy MacPhail is the Minnesota GM) play the O's, Lee told people that if he were still AL president he would not approve Weinglass because of the Baltimore native's past gambling.

I think the resounding fan approval for Boogie shows, more than anything, how desperately Baltimoreans want local ownership.

Around the Oriole offices they say there are two other potential local buyers anyway -- buyers who prefer to deal quietly and in the background.

Anyone who plans to buy a major-league baseball team anywhere had better bring money. This year there are 221 players earning $1 million or more. There are 30 in the $3 million class. It will only get worse. Oldtimers can remember the gasps when Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams broke the $100,000 barrier.

* Not everything goes up. For instance, there will be 58 fewer light bulbs in the new ballpark at Camden Yards than there are in Memorial Stadium (706 to 764). That's because the metal halide lights -- the cleanest available anywhere -- have 1,500-watt bulbs costing $560 apiece. Computer focused, they're guaranteed for five years.

* College scouts will be drooling next Jan. 17-18 when for the first time in seven years we're going to have a high school basketball tournament here featuring some of the best players and teams in the country.

The Charm City Classic will include Dunbar and Southern highs from here along with St. Anthony's of Jersey City, N.J., and St. Raymond's of The Bronx, the New York City champion.

Among the local players who'll draw scouts galore to Towson Center are Dunbar's 6-6 senior Donta Bright, 6-2 senior Michael Lloyd and 6-6 junior Keith Booth. Bright says he's interested in Georgia Tech, Massachusetts and Ohio State. Lloyd will choose from Florida State, Towson State and Arkansas.

Make no mistake -- the coming season's Dunbar team knows precisely what its goal is.

Says Bright: "I want to end my career as the national champion."

Southern's Kwame Evans, a 6-6 senior shooting guard, is looking at Richmond, Towson State and Clemson.

* Maryland opens its football season in 11 weeks against Virginia but the Terps still don't know who will be doing their play-by-play on the radio.

It would be a shame if Johnny Holliday has to give it up. He's a popular fixture at Maryland. But his station, WMAL, will carry Navy games this year. The only way Johnny can stay with Maryland is by quitting his sports directorship with the station. If he stays and does Navy, Ted Patterson will remain on the broadcasts as color man.

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