Recharged MSL looks to expand


THE MAJOR Soccer League, which appeared to be collapsing two years ago, is enjoying a healthy rejuvenation. Pittsburgh's Frank Fuhrer visited Blast owner Ed Hale recently in connection with putting a team back in that city. The league expects to add two teams next year -- Pittsburgh, plus one from Carolina or California. The Blast, which plays Cleveland here tonight, reports that the fans are upbeat about the new larger goals, the higher glass keeping the ball in play, and the increase in scoring. Twenty-two goals (13-9) scored in the St. Louis game here

Saturday was a club record, three short of the league record.

* At first it seemed a pity when Baltimore didn't even bid for the '90 Notre Dame-Navy football game, which will be played Saturday at the Meadowlands. After all, Navy's last two home games with the Irish were played here. But now with Navy so inept and nowhere near ND's class it may be just as well. There'd be a lot of empty seats at Memorial Stadium -- as there were in '88 -- and Baltimore once again would be criticized for failing to sell out for Notre Dame.

* Chuck Thompson's agreeing to broadcast 81 Oriole games next year has met with great public approval. Actually, Chuck will do 82 games -- including the opener in '92, the day the new ballpark opens. A lot of people are saying that Thompson, whose career here has spanned the entire history of the Memorial Stadium, should throw out the first ball at the new one.

* The Indianapolis Colts have yet to win with high-priced prima donna Eric Dickerson in the lineup. Does anyone in Baltimore feel sorry for him or his goofy owner? Silly question.

* Elkridge golfer Boggs Edelen expresses the feeling of many when he says of Jodie Mudd's winning the biggest prize in American golf -- $450,000 -- Sunday in Houston: "That's an obscene amount of money, but if anybody was going to win it it's good it was somebody like Mudd. It wouldn't have served much purpose for one of golf's super-millionaires to win it. Mudd showed he deserved it with birdies on the last three holes he played [including the playoff hole]."

* In a big thoroughbred state like Maryland many can empathize with Bill Badgett, trainer of Go for Wand, one of three horses to perish in the Breeders' Cup: "If anything good happens, you'd better enjoy it. In this business, you never know what's going to happen tomorrow." That's not bad advice for life in general.

* A state employee who has taken the model of the new ballpark in Camden Yards all over Maryland has learned this about public opinion regarding a name for the place: "People definitely don't like the name Babe Ruth Stadium. They say he was a Yankee. They're not too crazy about Camden Yards, either. In fact, they don't know what they want. They just know what they don't want."

Longtime Oriole supporter Marie Capiello told me yesterday she and her son hope fervently it'll be named Oriole Park.

* College basketball coaches, for reasons that elude many of us, really do like UNLV's Jerry Tarkanian. But Tark's offer to sit out the next championship tournament if the school is allowed to participate -- though it is now banished from it -- has some of his coaching brethren frowning. They think Tark has a nerve.

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