A surprise snowstorm last weekend gave the Bowie Baysox an unscheduled three-day layoff and an entire series to make up with the Reading Phillies. So when they saw the partly cloudy skies and felt the 52-degree weather for yesterday's home opener at Prince George's Stadium, they pronounced the conditions terrific by comparison.

"This weather's great," said Manager Dave Trembley, whose Baysox had split a four-game series with Harrisburg before their momentum was cut short by 21/2 inches of snow in Reading. "We felt like we were at the North Pole instead of the Eastern League. We ended up practicing one day at this indoor facility I found in the phone book."

That was about the only work the players got in during the road trip. They turned to the usual methods of killing time, alternating between playing cards and watching videos.

"It was more of the same stuff we always do," outfielder Tim Raines Jr. said. "A lot more."

Nearly all of the Eastern League's 12 teams lost games in the season's first week. Trenton and Portland were the last teams in professional baseball to play, meeting each other yesterday.

"It was nice to see the sun again," Bowie pitcher Matt Riley said. "It's been overcast for so long."

Trembley said the layoff would affect the pitchers more than the everyday players, jarring them out of any sense of a rhythm. The rotation remained intact, though Trembley said he thought he would go to his bullpen more to get more pitchers involved. Riley takes the mound today in the second of a four-game series with the Harrisburg Senators.

"I'll take my innings whenever I can get them," Riley said. "I did hear it looked like rain, though."