Why did The Post publish Peter Whoriskey's excellent summary, "Lucrative Deal on Stadium Won Baseball Over," [front page, Sept. 30] only after the deal was made?

His analysis confirmed what critics had alleged all along -- that the deal was overly generous regarding the public purse. And why wait until the last sentence to state what is objectionable about the public financing -- that the future team owner's risk has been shifted to the District?

Who benefits?

Assuming competitive bidding among owner groups, Major League Baseball will be able to command a higher price for the team, as ownership risk has been minimized. Naming rights for the ballpark alone might cover the rent. It's a near-guaranteed positive cash flow.

Ironically, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, as a shareholder in the MLB-owned Expos, will get a larger return on his share of the Expos through the guaranteed public financing. Then he will collect again in some kind of income-protection guarantee for the Orioles.

Some deal.




Thomas M. White [letters, Oct. 2] said that the new ball- park proposed for the Anacostia waterfront would violate the rules of baseball because the line from home plate to second base points to the southeast, not the northeast.

While I agree with his assertion that baseball diamonds must be laid out in such a way that the batter never has to look directly into the sun, I take exception with his interpretation that a northeast orientation is required by Major League Baseball's rules. The rule book says merely that "it is desirable."

One exception is U.S. Cellular Field (formerly the new Comiskey Park), home of the Chicago White Sox. The field is across the street from the site of the original Comiskey Park and was laid out roughly as a mirror image of the old park. On the old diamond, batters faced northeast; at the new park, they face southeast.

In the days when all baseball was played in the sunshine, a northeast orientation might have been necessary, but in these days when most games are under the lights -- or even under a dome -- the orientation of the park is less important.

In Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium the batter faced due north. I guess lefthanders pitching there were "eastpaws."