Channel 2 drops Palmer from its Orioles lineup 'Economics' cited in station's decision

January 25, 1992|By Ray Frager

Jim Palmer has been dropped from the Baltimore Orioles rotation on Channel 2. The Hall of Fame pitcher won't be back on the station's Orioles telecasts this year, WMAR general manager Arnold J. Kleiner said yesterday.

"It's strictly economics. It has nothing to do with Jim's performance," Kleiner said.

Palmer had done play-by-play and analysis in rotation with Jon Miller and Brooks Robinson in 1991. Miller and Robinson have two years remaining on their announcing contracts, Kleiner said. Palmer, who joined the Channel 2 telecasts in 1989, worked with a one-year contract. This time, though, instead of giving Palmer a new contract for 1992, Kleiner said he had to tell him that the station couldn't afford to carry so many announcers.

"Like every other business in today's world, we're looking for ways to save money," Kleiner said. "While we think Jim is terrific, we had three wonderful announcers, and we're going to go without one of our wonderful announcers.

"Contractually, Jim was the way to go."

Seven years before his Orioles career ended in 1984, Palmer, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, began working as an analyst for ABC, ending in 1989. He moved to play-by-play when he teamed with Robinson that year. Last year, with Miller, the Orioles radio voice, joining the mix, Palmer did less play-by-play, often splitting time with Robinson as Miller's analyst partner.

This season, Channel 2 sports anchor Scott Garceau -- an infrequent fill-in in 1991 -- will take over when Miller is unavailable because of ESPN assignments. Garceau is expected to call about 15 games, Kleiner said.

"I'm not happy that Jim's not coming back," Garceau said, "but I'm glad to get to do the games."

Though Robinson last year had said he was happy to work fewer games, he's likely to be the analyst for nearly all of WMAR's 53 telecasts this season.

Palmer has spoken of being host of a syndicated talk show or joining another team's broadcasts, but it is unclear where he next will appear on the air.

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