Cuba asks park be secured for workout, too

Open warehouse windows among fears of officials

April 30, 1999|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

The Cuban all-star team that arrives in Baltimore this weekend is scheduled to hold a workout on Sunday evening at Camden Yards, but local fans probably will not get the opportunity to sneak an advance peek at the opposition before Monday's game against the Orioles.

Cuban sports officials have asked that access to the stadium be tightly controlled during the workout, presumably to reduce the likelihood of outside contact with the players that might prompt one or more of them to try and defect to the United States.

If the Cuban authorities have their way, even the windows of the B&O Warehouse that face the playing field will be blocked while the Cuban players get acclimated to Orioles Park.

The Cuban team is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon and depart on Tuesday morning, the day after the second game of the historic exhibition series against the Orioles.

The traveling party from Cuba is expected to number nearly 300, including the team, sports officials, government officials, former Cuban stars and youth baseball players.

The Orioles already have changed the seat assignments of dozens of season-ticket holders to accommodate a Cuban request to create a buffer zone between the fans and the visitors dugout.

Those seats will instead be used as a VIP seating area for the Cuban delegation, much as a similar area behind home plate was set aside for the large American contingent for the game at Havana's Latin American Stadium in March.

Pub Date: 4/30/99

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