New park's wind study sure beats putting moistened finger in air


Just got my copy of "Spectator Wind Comfort and Baseball Trajectory Studies for Camden Yards Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland" and, I tell you, it's a page-turner. Microclimate specialists Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. of Guelph, Ontario, did the study and its findings read like Agatha Christie.

* OK, Dan Rodricks, you've had it. The cityside columnist for The Evening Sun has gone much too far by suggesting that what Oriole Park at Camden Yards (alias Big Jake's Place) needs is an organ. He suggests such a move would be "providing a classic finishing touch" to OPACY.

Obviously, this country bumpkin (East Bridgewater, Mass., population 8,200 on weekends) hasn't been in enough ballparks or arenas to realize how truly painful and aggravating these unwanted musical intrusions are to fans, participants and anyone within earshot. Besides, with all the commercials being read over the sound system these days, there's no time for some clever and creative organist to make with a "Charge!"

* As part of his Best Players of All Time Series, Don Honig's "The Greatest Shortstops" is out and there's just one oversight: Mark Belanger. We catch up to Mark in the epilogue "And not forgetting . . ." which points out, "Despite a weak bat [.228 lifetime], he played 1,942 big-league games and was incomparable at all facets of defensive play, holding the American League record for highest career fielding average for shortstops in 1,000 or more games." Cal Ripken is one of the anointed 16.

* A total of 10 luxury liners will be anchored in the port of Barcelona to help out with the housing shortage at the Summer Olympics in Spain. Among the security measures for the ships, whose VIPs will have a private 1,000-meter beach, will be police frogmen making sure all is well.

* Eddie Van Kirk (23-6) faces another do-or-die situation (his 15th) at Pikesville Armory tonight, taking on Edwin Curet (26-11) with a likely shot at the WBF junior middleweight title as the prize. Also on the card are popular Les Johnson (15-1) and the Slammin' Sheriff, Lou Benson. Tomorrow, IBF Intercontinental champ Percy Harris (15-2), fighting out of Pikesville now, takes on Lamar Parks (23-0) for the NABF and USBA middleweight titles in New York City.

* Casting no aspersions upon local practitioners of the art, of course, founder Roy Englebrecht announces his Sportscaster Camps of America will be conducted July 14-20 in Huntington Beach, Calif. . . . There's also a home study course.

* DiGiorno Pasta, which will provide the "carbo load" for the 7,000 runners in the Boston Marathon next Monday, sponsors a 10-person team in the event. Among them is a gent named Jamie Sarkisian, who runs the 26 miles reaching for a beer that is suspended via antenna from his hat.

* CBS Sports is justly proud that it won a prestigious Peabody Award for its coverage of the Masters. What makes the golf tournament worthy of praise is that the folks at Augusta National restrict commercial time and self-promotion by the network is simply taboo. Go ye and do likewise, fellow networks.

* How big is the World Wrestling Federation? For openers, be advised the WWF realized a $1.7 billion gross for the gear, knick-knacks, paraphernalia and just plain junk it unloaded in 1991, beating even the NFL.

* If current economic conditions have you down, consider the plight of the expansion hockey team in Tampa Bay, which has had trouble selling tickets, owes the NHL a huge chunk of its $50 million initiation fee and is being bombarded with the news that some established lodge members are in the habit of losing $5 million per season. Amazingly, not one team thought to take out strike insurance to cover the recent 10-day work stoppage.

* Their triumph in doubles at the recent U.S. Hardcourts in San Antonio was No. 79 for the tandem of Martina Navratilova and

Pam Shriver, a pro record by dozens.

* One good thing about the hockey strike's end is the New York Rangers and their frenzied fans now must live up to their accepted belief that this is the year the Broadway Blues break their 52-year losing streak in Stanley Cup play, no doubt. Of course, some other teams have been crowing the same thing, so it's pay-up time.

* The Cleveland Indians must be doing a bang-up job of selling their latest youth movement. Just 5,615 showed up Monday night to see the beloved Indians provide Detroit with its first victory after six reversals. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson immediately predicted that his club will "be there" when the race for the division title heats up in September.

* A rematch the multitudes have not been waiting with baited breath for since 1984, Mary Decker-Slaney and Zola Budd-Pieterse trading shoves, is a possibility for June at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. Mary says, "the kind of attention it would generate would be good for track and field in this country," and, unfortunately, she's probably right.

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