Nobody telecasts more Orioles home games than Home Team Sports. So, when the club and the Maryland Stadium Authority were considering television needs for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, they took the logical step of involving HTS.
"We are the ones that basically designed the broadcast end," said Bill Brown, an HTS producer of Orioles games.
And one of the improvements at OPACY -- the stadium name that beats ring around the collar -- is really the pits. That's as in camera pits.
On either end of both dugouts, camera pits have been designed for improved television shots, Brown said. One of the problems at Memorial Stadium was that dugout cameras sat too low, so that the field's crown blocked the view across the diamond. At the new stadium, the cameras will be higher, offering an %J unobstructed view. See, the Orioles promised no obstructed seats.
Also, the lighting at OPACY -- the name recommended by Dr. Mom -- will be much more even than at Memorial Stadium.
"There will be a brighter, cleaner look," Brown said. "It's so much brighter that the pictures we're able to produce will be enhanced."
The neatest new element on HTS telecasts is likely to be the robotic camera mounted atop the B&O warehouse. The expensive camera -- "In order to get it, we had to get a sponsor for it [Jeep Eagle]," Brown said -- should come in quite handy in showing how the defense works.
"What we're going to show there is how the team works in concert," Brown said, citing a double play as an example. "The baseball fan is so sophisticated now that he can understand the inner workings of the defense."
For those unsophisticated fans -- such as me -- who enjoyed seeing Tom Davis give score updates while standing among the seats, the new stadium telecasts will have one disappointment. Davis will do those updates from the camera pit on the first-base side nearest home.
"The entire stadium will be his background," Brown said.
Sure, but nobody can spill mustard on his tie anymore.
Radio, it's a sound sensation: WBAL (1090 AM) begins its 24-hour sports weekends tomorrow. Every Saturday and Sunday, the station will carry sports programming from noon to midnight. There will be plenty of Orioles talk, and ESPN Radio also makes its Baltimore debut. Tomorrow, it comes on after the second Final Four game. On Sunday, ESPN Radio airs 6 p.m.-9 p.m. ESPN's shows include interviews and some two-way talk. . . . Happy anniversary to sportscaster Ted Patterson, who's been ropin' the wind at WPOC (93.1 FM) for 10 years. . . . To the folks
at WGRX (100.7 FM) who invited me to their Opening Day bash and requested I RSVP in print: I'll show up on one condition -- that I get to smash every Pink Floyd record in your library.
Avoid cliches like the plague: The boss wanted to make sure I was prepared for baseball season. "OK," he said. "Here's a quick word association quiz. Have your No. 2 pencil ready."
It was tough, but I think I aced it. Here's how it went:
Home run: dinger, tater, round-tripper, four-ply wallop, he'll touch 'em all, that one's a souvenir, right in his wheelhouse (I nearly broke my No. 2 pencil on this one.)
Base hit: safety
Fastball: No. 1, smoke, high hard one
Curveball: Uncle Charley, hook, yakker
Second baseman: keystone sacker
Third baseman: guardian of the hot corner
Catcher: backstop, donning the tools of ignorance
Pitcher: moundsman, crafty twirler
Coaches: brain trust
Eddie Murray: taciturn tender of the initial hassock
As you could tell, it wasn't that tough. In fact, it was as if I had strolled dishward waving the hickory, then connected on a fat offering down the pipe, poling the pill beyond the reach of any glovesman on the greensward.
Things My Boss Wants To Know: How can I watch the opener now that all my televisions disappeared while that David Copperfield special was on? . . . Is it true that the Orioles moved today's exhibition game to the afternoon to avoid going up against the debut of Hammer's new video? . . . Will ESPN have to issue "For Mature Audiences Only" warnings before carrying any Mets games?