Eli S. Jacobs reportedly likes Oriole Park. William Donald Schaefer strongly has hinted his preference for Camden Yards.
As the deadlock over the naming of the new ballpark holds firm, baseball commissioner Fay Vincent has offered the decision-makers this bit of practical advice: Pick one and get it over with.
"Both seem to be reasonable names," Vincent said yesterday. "The parties just have to agree. I hope they get it done."
Neither Governor Schaefer nor Jacobs, principal owner of the Orioles, publicly has discussed his choice, but last week Schaefer dropped a hint about where he stands, saying he prefers a name that is "more in keeping with the area." That
figures to be Camden Yards, the old railroad yard that is the site of the state-financed, $105.4 million ballpark.
Schaefer said Jacobs is adamant about naming the park something else.
Speaking from his New York office yesterday, Vincent said it would be unfortunate if the delay in choosing the name overshadowed the positive reviews that the ballpark has received for its traditional design. He also acknowledged having spoken to Jacobs about the ballpark name, though he would not discuss the conversations.
"I talk to Mr. Jacobs regularly. I don't think it is appropriate for me to talk about what advice I've given," he said.
Another thing Vincent said he wouldn't do is attempt to choose the name for Schaefer and Jacobs. According to the 15-year ballpark lease, that decision will be made jointly by the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority, whose boss is the governor.
"I can't think of anything that is more local than the name. There is an agreement in place on how the name is to be picked. I am content to have them pick it," Vincent said.