Lay off Miller when it comes to...


Lay off Miller when it comes to pronouncing Gomez's first 0) name

Lay-o, Layayay-o.

Game time come, and he wanna play third.

Come, Mr. Announcer Man, how you say his first name?

Game time come, and he wanna play third.

Lay-o, Layayay-o.

Grave troubles face the republic. It is in times such as these that we must focus on important issues, chief among them: How should an announcer pronounce Leo Gomez's first name?

Jon Miller, following his practice of pronouncing the names of Latin players in Spanish fashion, calls the Orioles third baseman "Lay-o." Some of Miller's radio and television colleagues use the same pronunciation, and others use the Anglicized version, "Lee-o," as in Leo Durocher, Leo G. Carroll and Leo Buscaglia.

There is anecdotal evidence that Miller's Lay-o ruins the day-o for some Orioles fans. If they had their say-o, that pronunciation would go away-o.

To which I reply, oy vey-o.

According to the Orioles public relations department, Mille checked with Gomez, who says his first name is pronounced Lay-o.

The question then becomes, should Gomez be called Lee-o just to spare Anglo ears the jarring sound of another language?

Before you answer, consider this example: Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski pronounces his last name "shuh-shef-skee." Should we be calling him "kriz-uh-zoo-skee"?

Shameless Plugs Dept.

During a Home Team Sports Orioles telecast this week, between-innings emcee Tom Davis observed that the Camden Yards crowd seemed to respond more to "good-time oldies" music than to more current offerings played on the park's public-address system.

Leaving aside the matter of whether the Spin Doctors' "Two Princes" is more stirring than the Troggs' "Wild Thing" -- obviously a question for only the most advanced musicologists -- don't think that Davis' use of the phrase "good-time oldies," which he repeated two or three times, was accidental. It just so happens that one of Davis' other gigs is morning sports for a radio station in town that bills its music as, you guessed it, good-time oldies.

A hot dog at breakfast

NBC tennis announcer Bud Collins seems to have toned down his act somewhat recently, but that could be a function of giving more room to other analysts who share space with him at Wimbledon. Collins can utter corny puns or be as outrageous as some of those wild patterns on his pants.

At least he's not dull. But, then again, there are times he needs to pull back.

Take, for example, his appearance earlier this week on a late-night Wimbledon update. Collins attempted to make light of an obscenity from Pete Sampras at the end of his victory over Andrew Foster. There was mention of a 12-letter word, followed by Collins saying that maybe Sampras just was saying he likes Smucker's jam. Or maybe it had to do with Sampras' Greek ancestry, Collins said, and the word was a reference to Oedipus.

Because NBC didn't see fit to equip the set with an ejection seat,host Hannah Storm sat there and smiled bravely.

One of the people giving Collins less of a chance to talk is John McEnroe, only a year removed from his last Wimbledon. Though McEnroe speaks in a monotone, he seems relaxed on the air and contributes insight to the telecasts. Chris Evert also has settled in comfortably in the analyst's chair, and she offers lively commentary during women's matches.

Evert joins Collins and stroke-by-stroke announcer Dick Enberg tomorrow at 9 a.m. (channels 2, 4) for the women's final, and McEnroe steps in for the men's final Sunday at 9 a.m.

Hubie or not Hubie

The best quote of TNT's NBA draft show Wednesday night was from Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson. Before the Warriors and Orlando Magic announced their swap of draft picks, Nelson was asked whether a trade was in the works. "If I tell you," Nelson said, "I have to kill you."

Did Nelson wear 007 when he played for the Celtics?

Meanwhile, Hubie Brown and Doug Collins were their usua thorough selves in discussing the picks, but Brown was being too soft. He never hesitates to be critical during game telecasts, but Wednesday night Brown seemed to like everybody's selections.

Feeling free

According to a study by the Baseball Business Journal, the numberof baseball games on over-the-air television actually has increased since the proliferation of cable, contrary to the popular perception. From 1983 to 1993, cable-TV games increased from 416 to 1,347. But free-TV games also increased from 1,595 to 1,815, or from an average of 60 per team to 65.

The Orioles are tied for seventh in the American League in the number of over-the-air games telecast, and rank third in number of cable-TV games. They are tied for third in total televised games.


The number of regular-season games American League teams telecast on over-the-air television and cable:

Team.. .. .. .. ..TV .. .. .. Cab.

Orioles .. .. .. .50 .. .. .. 85

Boston .. .. .. ..75 .. .. .. 82

California .. .. 49 .. .. .. 20

Chicago .. .. .. 48 .. .. .. 110

Cleveland .. .. ..60 .. .. .. 45

Detroit .. .. .. 47 .. .. .. 70

Kansas City .. .. 63 .. .. .. 0

Milwaukee .. .. ..65 .. .. .. 0

Minnesota .. .. ..38 .. .. .. 74

New York .. .. .. 50 .. .. .. 108

Oakland .. .. .. 50 .. .. .. 59

Seattle .. .. ... 60 .. .. .. 0

Texas .. .. .. .. 90 .. .. .. 50

Toronto .. .. .. 60 .. .. .. 75

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