The Baltimore Orioles' new voice could be a familiar one.
Joe Angel, an Orioles radio announcer for three years before leaving to call New York Yankees games this season, is in negotiations with WBAL Radio to return to Baltimore, the station and Angel said yesterday.
"It's close. I think it could work," Angel said from his California home.
"He is in the running, and we are negotiating," said Jeff JTC Beauchamp, vice president and general manager of WBAL. "I'd say we are close, but the deal hasn't been consummated."
Ron Shapiro, Angel's representative, said of the negotiations only that "We're discussing it."
However, Angel and WBAL indicated a deal could be worked out very soon, possibly within a day or two.
A vacancy opened on WBAL's announcing team last week, when Ken Levine, Angel's replacement, resigned to return to his family and television writing work in California. Jon Miller will return for 00 his 10th season with the Orioles in 1992, though his television assignments limit him to about half of the radio schedule. Chuck Thompson, who filled in for Miller on radio, apparently will come ,, back in the same role, too.
Angel, 43, said he spoke to WBAL before the end of the regular season. Though Angel has a two-year contract with New York's WABC, he said his deal allows him to leave for a No. 1 major-league job. Because Angel would work a full schedule, and would be the lead announcer in Miller's absence, the Orioles job would qualify as a No. 1 position, Angel said.
When Angel departed for New York after the 1990 season, he left behind essentially the same job to which he would return. Last year, he cited the many opportunities available to an announcer who is heard in New York, but Angel said yesterday he was dissatisfied with the way WABC treated the Yankees broadcasts.
"The Yankees are not a priority on WABC," he said, referring to a lack of promotion on the station. "It was totally alien to me. Here they have the most famous franchise in the history of American sports, and they don't treat it as such."
In addition, the New York Daily News has reported that Angel didn't get along with Yankees lead announcer John Sterling.
Still, Angel said, "I haven't completely shut the door" on returning to the Yankees, and he also is in the running for the Detroit Tigers vacancy created by the firing of Ernie Harwell.
Harwell apparently remains a candidate for WBAL, too. The station has acknowledged speaking with Harwell about the job.
As for other possible replacements for Levine, Beauchamp would say only, "The list is very short. We're looking for a seasoned professional."
Angel came to Baltimore in 1988, replacing Jack Wiers. This season marked Angel's 12th year as a major-league announcer.