They came, they saw, they hurled themselves at the outfield wall.
Such was media day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday. And, though the professionals whose opinions I solicited wouldn't stoop to anything so juvenile as pretending to be an outfielder crashing into the wall -- at least I didn't catch them at it -- the thrill of the new park is enough to turn the gush machine on full blast.
"Looking at the big picture, it's absolutely fabulous," radio talk show host Stan "The Fan" Charles said.
"It's very beautiful, there's no doubt about that," Home Team Sports' Tom Davis said. "It's perfectly put together."
"I think it's terrific," radio host Phil Wood said. "You walk in there, and don't feel like you're in a new park."
WBAL Radio's Jeff Rimer agrees.
"It's got a newness and an oldness to it," Rimer said. "It's magnificent, better than I expected."
Channel 11's Vince Bagli said he can remember a lot of ballparks, and OPACY -- the way the smart set is referring to the stadium -- captures pieces of them.
"It's like a composite of some great stadiums I've seen," Bagli said, mentioning Washington's Griffith Stadium and Philadelphia's Shibe Park. "It's so much better than these sterile places that look alike."
Well, gee, this is turning into a love-in. Doesn't anyone have something bad to say? Come on, fellas.
Charles will say he's concerned that his view from his season-ticket seats might be obstructed by the umpires' tunnel, but then he adds, "I just think it's a fabulous ballpark."
And Davis said: "I don't know if the guy who walks in in the cutoffs and the T-shirt will feel comfortable. I think the people who are going to be the most comfortable there are the white-collar people."
Ah-ha, here we go. Class warfare at OPACY -- the name preferred by nine out of 10 doctors -- what drama!
Yeah, but then Davis said: "Who would've ever thought Baltimore could've come up with something so beautiful?"
Aw, you guys are no fun.
"It reminds me of my old baseball cards," Bagli said. "It reminds me of my youth."
"I always thought I had a big house, but that clubhouse has more square footage than my home," Wood said.
"I think the Orioles facilities are like Disneyland," Rimer said.
Enough, enough, enough. Did Herbert J. Belgrad pay you off, or what? You trying to make sure you get a space in the A lot? Let's put a stop to this sycophantic commentary right now. Here's what I think about OPACY -- the winner on Super Tuesday and only 500 delegates from a first-ballot triumph -- after this week's visit:
It's positively marvelous.
Initial mistake: Rimer said that, during Wednesday night's sportswriters vs. sportscasters trivia contest on WBAL Radio, he only was repeating teammate Bagli's answer when Rimer said Y.A. Tittle's first name was Yeltsin. Bagli's response: "Of course not. He's got wax in his ears." The correct answer, as most people know, is Yucca Flats. . . . During the 11 p.m. hour on Monday, Charles will have American League
umpire Steve Palermo, who was shot while stopping a robbery last year, as his guest on "Sports Exchange" on WCBM (680 AM). . . . No, I was kidding. That "Y" really stands for Y'all Come Back Now. . . . For real now, honestly: Y.A. Tittle's first name is Yelverton. . . . WCBM is adding a two-hour Sunday talk show at 8 p.m., starting April 12. The hosts will be Steve Sharon and Rob Goldman.
Welcome to the club seats: The boss was concerned about attending the Orioles opener. Not about whether he'd get to go -- he is the boss, after all -- but about his company.
He'd been invited to sit in a special suite in which the team was playing host to the Grand Macher of Oyveyizmir. The boss never had heard of the Grand Macher, or of Oyveyizmir. He asked me to find out all I could on both.
"Here's the scoop, boss," I said. "Oyveyizmir is a tiny principality located in the Mediterranean, about 100 miles from where Italy's boot might kick a football if that boot were being worn by Scott Norwood.
"Its primary export is worry beads. The main crop is crab grass. Each summer, it is host to a festival celebrating the 'Partridge Family' TV show. In fact, Danny Bonaduce has been granted asylum there.
"The Grand Macher inherited the throne when his father, Hyman Pupik V, was assassinated by revolutionaries demanding the abolition of compulsory aerobics."
With that, the boss gave me his Opening Day tickets.
Things My Boss Wants To Know: Is it true that all-sports station WTEM plans a weekly show on grooming tips with Joe Gibbs' barber? . . . Will The Sun have to run daily corrections if our clock at OPACY -- the name that tingles when you shampoo -- runs fast or slow? . . . Do you think we could get the Energizer bunny to run over Billy Packer during one of his car commercials?