So, you've had it with the Orioles' inconsistent, and sometimes indifferent play. You want action and you want it now, eh?
Well, put a cork in that anxiety, says, former Oriole Ken Singleton, who visits this weekend to analyze tomorrow's game with Kansas City for Fox (Channel 45, 1 p.m.)
"They [the Orioles] have the power and the defense, but the pitching hasn't been there. They're still hanging in, though, and if they're like the Orioles I remember, they'll do really well down the stretch," said Singleton.
Singleton, who won two American League pennants and a World Series title in his nine seasons here, said part of the problem with the Orioles is that manager Davey Johnson is still learning the ways of the American League, after so many years managing in the National League.
"Davey's a good manager, but he's going through an adjustment period. He'll be great. If he can survive what happened in Cincinnati, he'll do fine in Baltimore, where there is no circus," said Singleton, whose .328 batting average in 1977 is still the Orioles' single-season record.
Singleton, who lives in Lutherville in the off-season, has done radio play-by-play for the Montreal Expos and television commentary for Canada's The Sports Network for eight years.
He teams with Josh Lewin of WBAL (1090 AM) for Fox telecasts, and says the network's Saturday Game of the Week will take time to succeed.
"It will take awhile for people to change their viewing habits to watch something that hasn't been there for a while, but as pennant races start to heat up, then you'll see Fox start to come on strong," said Singleton.
A strange artifact
Gather the kids around the set tomorrow afternoon during ABC's "Wide World of Sports" (Channel 2, 4: 30 p.m.) for a rarity of the order of a winning Lotto ticket, a night undisturbed by telemarketers or a sensible broadcast by Brent Musburger.
Yes, "Wide World" offers a heavyweight boxing title fight -- pitting Michael Moorer against Axel Schulz -- on free TV, the first the program has shown since the Floyd Patterson-Jimmy Ellis battle in 1968.
"I hope there are some dinosaurs out there who remember championship fights on free television," said ABC's Alex Wallau.
Above the curiosity factor, there's actually a reason to watch this bout. The fight will take place in Germany, the homeland of Schulz, who many believe was robbed of a decision in his fight against George Foreman.
Moorer, meanwhile, beat Evander Holyfield, but got knocked down and lost to Foreman.
"The guy that comes out of this puts himself in line for a big pay-day, probably against Mike Tyson in a year or so," said Wallau.
A different game
Listen carefully and you'll hear the chatter of people making plans for those big World Bowl parties you've heard so much about, but have never been invited to.
What's the World Bowl, you ask? Why, it's the championship game of the World League of American Football, featuring players you've never heard of, playing in countries whose residents don't quite get what they're seeing.
Sunday's game, played in Edinburgh, Scotland (Channel 45, 1 p.m.), pits the Frankfurt Galaxy against the Scottish Claymores, and you won't likely mistake this football for the NFL version.
"You remember [the] 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer' [cartoon], where they went to that island of misfit toys where everybody didn't have just that one thing? That's what this league is like. People here are good, but they're missing that one thing," said analyst Matt Millen.
Millen, who will call the game, is one of the big names Fox, which is a WLAF partner with the NFL, is trotting out to raise the profile of this game. James Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and John Madden will be in the pre-game show studio in Los Angeles, and the network promises all kinds of technical toys that it can't use during the NFL season.
All that is well and good, but if you find yourself calling your short-term investment counselor to get some action on the Claymores or the Galaxy, someone should pry the remote control from your hand.
CBS (Channel 13) kicks off its summer NASCAR coverage with the Michigan 400 on Sunday at 1 p.m., with a whopping 38 cameras around the track and in six cars.
The U.S. Olympic track and field trials come to an end with coverage tonight at 7: 30 on ESPN, and on NBC (Channel 11) tomorrow and Sunday at 2 p.m. The track coverage on NBC will be blended each day with diving.
Finally, Channel 11 sports anchor Gerry Sandusky will be the host for a golf tournament Monday mixing celebrities and just plain folks at the Chestnut Ridge Country Club, with proceeds to benefit the Joe Sandusky Foundation, which assists city students in attending colleges, trade or arts schools. The foundation is named in honor of Sandusky's late brother. Call 752-1390, Ext. 5555.
Pub Date: 6/21/96