Dear Stadium Doctor:
If Oriole Park's asymmetry in stadium design, outfield dimensions and outfield-wall height are some of the features that make it the best new major-league baseball park, why hasn't the concept of asymmetry been carried over to the abbreviations used on the out-of-town scoreboard?
Every team abbreviation currently consists of three letters, regardless of outrageous insult and injury to baseball tradition. Examples:
Oriole Park.. .. .. .. ..Should be
KAN.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. KC
NYY.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. NY
LOS.. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. LA
NYM.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. NY
SDG... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..SD
SFO.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. SF
T. D. Horton
Dear T. D. Horton:
First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for not answering your question sooner. There was a little mix-up here at the office, which I won't explain further except to say your letter accidentally was misplaced behind an autographed photo of Richard Chamberlain and a large pair of tweezers.
I agree with you that the abbreviations on the out-of-town scoreboard are strange, and made some calls to find out why. Here's what I learned: It isn't the Orioles' fault. The abbreviations you don't like come from SportsTicker, a sports score service that feeds the information to the scoreboard via a highly &L complicated computer system. By highly complicated, I mean I don't understand it.
Anyway, the Orioles say they can't change the abbreviations now. But they agree that they're pretty dumb and hope to make the changes you suggest sometime in the future.
*Dear Stadium Doctor:
Recently several friends and I were able to come to Baltimore to see an Orioles game at Oriole Park. The city and state have done an excellent job, but being from National League cities, we noticed that something is missing -- references on the scoreboard to who's pitching.
We like having the lineup on the main scoreboard, but with the designated-hitter rule, the pitcher isn't in the lineup, and we were not sure who was on the mound.
Dear Terry Hart:
Thank you for your letter and for your order from the Stadium Doctor gift catalog. Your key ring and "Say Aaaah" bumper sticker are in the mail.
I called the Orioles to find out whether there's some reason pitchers aren't included in the scoreboard lineups. (Such as, maybe they want to keep it hush-hush when it's Bob Milacki's turn.) As you might expect, this was all done to help the fans. The Orioles previously listed pitchers with the lineups. They stopped because some people complained that there were too many names on the scoreboard to read any of them.
The good news is that the team official I spoke to thought you made a good point and promised to give the matter serious thought.