HTS shows lot of kick without O's

September 30, 1994|By PHIL JACKMAN

TV Repairman:

The folks who figured the Home Team Sports season ended and canceled service when the Orioles stopped chucking the apple around the infield will be huge losers tomorrow.

The cable's early afternoon football game, Florida at Mississippi (12:30 p.m.), could be a good one with the Gators a bit banged up. In the evening (7:30), HTS will be on hand at the Ottawa Rough Riders vs. Waverly Wonders game at Memorial Stadium. The "big show," though, resides in between, the Maryland Million racing card coming from Laurel.

There will be four live races, including the featured First National Bank of Maryland of Maryland Classic, plus seven on tape during the two-hour (4-6 p.m.) blitz of state-bred stock.

The first show last year got an Emmy nomination and probably will win this time with host Mel Proctor, analyst Art Sinclair and interviewers Gregg McCarron and Kim Goodwin backing up the pictures being provided by eight cameras.

* Fox kicks off its "Throw 'em to the Wolves" tryout camp this weekend, assigning Marcus Allen of the Kansas City Chiefs to its Detroit-at-Tampa Bay game Sunday. "It's something we did at CBS when I was there, looking at guys who might become available," said executive producer Ed Goren. No practice, no simulation, no nothing. Is this the big time or what? "I don't want to be too vanilla or too colorful," says Allen. We won't have the pleasure here, the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys debacle our fare at 1 p.m.

* One of the favored experts on "Burnsball," a sequel to the old "Nightline" show "America Held Hostage," sniffed the other night, "In my judgment, if it wasn't for Earl Weaver [managing the Orioles], Jim Palmer wouldn't have won 50 games in the major leagues." Hey, a guy is entitled to his opinion and he can express it, but why would anyone with common sense include such drivel?

By the way, what has an endless glut of World Series highlights got to do with the history of baseball . . . and can anyone imagine the name Calvin Schiraldi cropping up and not that of Eddie Plank or Pompeyo Davalillo (smallest player ever save for Eddie Gaedel)?

Yes, John Chancellor's voice narrating the Edna Ferber-style saga has been as reassuring as the old family doctor's, but you sometime get the idea the words don't have a whole lot of meaning for him. Which is not a knock.

* Why, oh why, doesn't the self-described "supreme and complete boss" of the Orioles, Peter Angelos, have his own TV show by now, a la Cowboys owner Jerry Jones? Twice weekly "fireside chats" on radio might be enlightening, too.

* Quickie review of Josh Lewin's work answering the WBAL "Sports Line" phones: That informed and logical style is just fine, but it's going to make a lot of the audience around here nervous after awhile.

* Hoping for a comeback after that awful Oliver McCall-Lennox Lewis bout from London last Saturday, HBO has Pernell Whitaker and Buddy McGirt squaring off for the former's welterweight title tomorrow (10:15 p.m.) . . . What this show has going for it is promoter Don King is not involved.

King getting his minion McCall to scream, "You'll be seeing me again on Showtime," at the end of an HBO telecast was low even by boxing standards.

* The question regarding CBS running out and arranging for a bunch of figure skating shows as counter programming to pro football in November and December is, will viewers show up in droves when the Vicks 44 North American Open title is the prize, not an Olympic medal or the world championship?

* ESPN2 completes its first year on the air tomorrow (most places but Baltimore City cable) and part of the celebration will be gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial, which might go on till the millenium.

* In case you didn't catch it, all drug tests conducted at the world swimming championships turned out to be negative. Chinese women splashers are being accused of being hopped up, of course, because they're setting records and being coached by the ex-East German coaches. If this is all a mystery to you, thank Channel 11, which deep-sixed the show.

* Once again Payne Stewart has the opportunity to salvage another weak golf season with a victory at the 12th Skins Game Thanksgiving (Nov. 26-27) weekend. Payne has collected $760,000 while capturing the last three shootouts; otherwise, the cupboard has been bare. The other competitors in the test, which will be carried by ABC, are Fred Couples, Paul Azinger and Tom Watson.

* What is it with ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.? Does he somehow think he's a good bit of the show when he works boxing? Often, his introductions last longer than the fights, and he consistently expends more words giving a simple decision than Abraham Lincoln did at Gettysburg (214 words).

* Starting up a "Legends" tour for women retired from tennis is not the worst idea ever, but it's in the photo. Watch, it'll obtain some sort of television deal and it will be full speed ahead.

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