Jay Boyle, the man responsible for everything edible at the new ballpark, had to laugh.
He had not been to sleep for 36 hours. He had been working feverishly to fix a problem affecting many of the food stands: a malfunction with electronic cash registers that had forced cashiers to switch to pocket calculators. And Opening Day was fast approaching.
Not to worry, said Mr. Boyle, general manager for ARA Services, the ballpark caterer. When the iron gates of the new ballpark open tomorrow, the food stands will be fully stocked and the registers will be working at full efficiency.
And if they aren't?
"Go out and stand on Russell Street," he offered. "Because you'll see me throwing people off the deck."
Mr. Boyle is not the only ballpark official who spent the weekend trying to iron out a few lingering problems before Opening Day. Roy Sommerhof, Orioles director of stadium services, spent the weekend at a downtown hotel so he could be near the ballpark. For most members of the stadium team, 14-hour days were routine.
The effort seems to be paying off. After a week of ballpark preliminaries, most of the kinks have been worked out. Even the most confirmed worry warts among the planners now seem confident of a smooth-running Opening Day.
Bruce Hoffman, Maryland Stadium Authority executive director, said the ballpark's performance and appearance improved steadily during last week's activities.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, we did a 7 on Thursday, which wasn't bad for the first time, and a 9 on Friday," he said.
To improve to a perfect 10 on Opening Day, Mr. Hoffman said the planners had to pay attention to issues like trash cans with improperly fitted lids and crowd control in the posh club level. Corridors were teeming with people. That surprised Hoffman, and caused him to wonder whether everyone belonged there.
"The club level feels more full than I ever expected," he said. "It's like Grand Central Station up here. It's a busy concourse, and I thought it would be more like sitting in your living room."
The trash cans bothered him, too.
"We've got lids that don't fit the can very well. And I'm finding Coke coming out the bottom of some cans," Mr. Hoffman said. "That doesn't look right. We'll have to figure something out."
Friday, Mr. Sommerhof dealt with a series of small problems, too. Among them: fans arriving for the game with tickets to seats that do not exist; gates that did not opened at precisely the right time.
A possible error with the seating manifest might have been the cause of the ticket snafu, Mr. Sommerhof said. "We need to look at the seating manifest provided by the contractor and double-check that with the actual seats," he said.
The gate situation also can be solved fairly easily. Friday, some opened, as scheduled, at 1 p.m., others 10 minutes later.
"The ballpark is new to the fans and new to us," Mr. Sommerhof said. "We have four major gates. We need to do a better job of synchronizing when they open, so fans won't be waiting so long."
Lines at the food stands also have been a concern. The problem stems, at least, in part, from the cash register glitch. Thursday, none of the registers in the food stands operated. Friday, many still were inoperable.
Boyle said ARA is equipping the high-tech registers with many new features, including a pay-by-credit-card option. Soon, he said, fans will be able to give their credit card to the cashier and have their accounts verified in about 10 seconds.
That is when the registers are working well, which hasn't been the case so far. Friday, short lines began to form at some stands as cashiers wrestled with their calculators.
"It's a pain in the neck, not so much for accuracy, but for speed," Mr. Boyle said. "You have to look up at the menu board and say, 'Gee, a hot dog is two-fifty and a potato chip is a buck and a half."
By tomorrow, those problems could be ancient history. Mr. Hoffman, for one, hopes so.
The authority official said: "Monday, I'm anxious to be a day when I can close the door [to the stadium authority suite], watch the game and not have to work."