Rimer managed blend of entertainment, news


It's fitting that the guest list for Jeff Rimer's final show includes Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, boxing impresario Don King and Lord Alfred Hayes of the World Wrestling Federation.

It's fitting, because at his best, Rimer, who closes the door on 10 years of Sports Line on WBAL (1090 AM) tonight, presented a blend of information and entertainment that was sometimes puzzling, sometimes wacky, but more often than not interesting.

"I'd like to think that people would tune in and get something they could enjoy. When we had to be entertaining, we were. We could be passionate, and I guess we were able to have some success. It's been great," said Rimer.

To be sure, Rimer, who moves full time to Florida's Sunshine Network as play-by-play announcer for the Florida Panthers hockey club, as well as the host of Florida Marlins and Miami Dolphins shows, had his detractors here.

Rimer's critics often charged that he didn't have a breadth of baseball knowledge and that if he didn't work at a station with a signal as strong as WBAL's, not to mention its possession of Orioles rights, his ratings might not have been so good.

But the inescapable fact is that you don't last for 10 years in a competitive market like Baltimore without being good, and, whether you liked him or not, you have to concede that Rimer is good.

"It is very bittersweet for me. I'm very sad to leave Baltimore. We had intelligent quality people calling us every night," said Rimer. "Occasionally, you'd get a moron, but the overwhelming majority of callers are well-educated and had opinions that are well-thought out. I'll miss them."

Rimer, who is believed to be close to signing a deal with an all-sports radio station in Miami to do a similar nightly talk show, will leave large shoes for his replacement, Josh Lewin, to fill.

CFL cancellation

Don't plan on seeing Sunday afternoon's Baltimore-Saskatchewan CFL game on HTS. The two sides mutually agreed not to carry the game, according to news releases from HTS and the CFLs.

Gary speaks

If the Masters won't let CBS golf commentator Gary McCord work from the towers at Augusta National, then he'll try to beat them at their own game by winning a tournament.

"They can boot me out of Augusta, but I go win a golf tournament -- and if there is a God, I will -- I would be eligible," said McCord yesterday as he prepared to join the CBS team for coverage of the inaugural Presidents Cup.

McCord, as you may remember, was bounced unceremoniously from the network's coverage of next year's Masters, when Augusta National officials objected to his referring to the greens there as appearing to have been coated with "bikini wax," and course mounds as looking like "body bags."

McCord said he bore no ill will toward CBS.

"There's no question they did the right thing. They're 100 percent correct. They had no recourse," said McCord.

One thing is certain, though: McCord doesn't plan to change his often off-the-wall approach to golf analysis.

"If I do that, Frank [Chirkinian, CBS' coordinating golf producer] would fire me real fast and plug in someone else," said McCord.

Weekend football

Channel 13 will have tomorrow's Notre Dame-Michigan State game at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, Channel 45's NFL doubleheader starts with the Philadelphia-Green Bay contest, followed at 4 by the Redskins-Giants game. Channel 2's lone NFL offering is the Miami-Jets game at 1 p.m.

And here's a tip for Tony: Don't send any Redskins protest letters to Channel 45 or Fox. It's not their call. Direct your anger at the NFL, or better yet, do some light breathing exercises and cool out. It's not that important.

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