Why not have the infield tarp lowered into the ground and...

Stadium Doctor

April 12, 1992

Why not have the infield tarp lowered into the ground and covered when not needed? It would lessen the chances of injury to players going after foul balls.

Raymond Cronhardt

Baltimore

Dear Raymond Cronhardt:

I received your letter and your fine question on a day I happened to visit Paul Zwaska, Orioles groundskeeper.

Paul said he and Pat Santarone, the Orioles longtime field general, had considered a disappearing tarp system for the new ballpark. They decided it wasn't a good idea. The main reason is that a mechanized tarp is not 100 percent reliable. If it breaks, you've got a rainout, maybe even a forfeit.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

What kind of music will they have at the new stadium?

Maureen Kavanagh

Baltimore

Dear Maureen Kavanaugh:

I'm glad you brought this up, because I had been wondering whether the team audio specialists planned to end their boycott of Barry White.

Anyway, the Orioles say they will continue to play popular music from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s. The seventh-inning stretch theme music is unchanged: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Dear Stadium Doctor:

How much did the stainless steel sign above the main entrance cost? Second, how come you can't see it that well? I drive by every day, and unless I knew where it was, it seems to disappear among the steel framework it is attached to. Has anyone else noticed it?

F.B. Cascio

Catonsville

Dear F.B. Cascio:

The answer to your first question: About $50,000.

I don't know exactly how to answer your second question. More troubling, neither do the people who built the stadium. There's no arguing that the sign sort of fades from view on a cloudy day, and even some that are not so cloudy.

At this point, several refinements are being considered: 1. Throw some extra lights on the area; 2. Erect a colored background behind the sign to make it more visible. A third possibility is to invite people to look more closely and to do nothing.

One thing is certain. There is nothing wrong with the 3 1/2 -foot letters themselves. They were made by Tom Moore, a blacksmith from Glen Rock, Pa. They are beauties.

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