For help in calling plays, Marlins seek voice of Angel


September 11, 1992|By RAY FRAGER

With their first pick in the expansion draft, the Florida Marlins take . . . Joe Angel?

I know, you thought for sure they'd try to lure Mario Mendoza out of retirement.

Though the Marlins wouldn't have to spend an expansion pick on him, the new National League club is showing great interest in making the Orioles announcer their radio voice when the Marlins begin play next season. On Wednesday, Dean Jordan, Marlins vice president of communications, met with Angel and his representative, Ron Shapiro (hey, am I the only guy in town whom Shapiro doesn't represent?), for about two hours, the Miami Herald is reporting today.

The Herald says that the Marlins expect to make a decision within 45 days.

"No job has been offered," Angel said this week. "No timetable has been set. It's a situation where I don't have to leave or want to leave."

Still, it's a situation where he might leave.

"I'd have to look at it as a great opportunity," said Angel, who apparently soured on the opportunity in New York after one season with the Yankees. Angel returned to WBAL (1090 AM), where he'd been heard on Orioles games from 1988 to 1990, this year after the Great Ken Levine Experiment of 1991 (researchers at the Applied Physics Laboratory still are poring over the data).

Jeff Beauchamp, WBAL vice president and station manager, said: "When he [Angel] came back to Baltimore from New York, we said we would not stand in his way. They [the Marlins] were courting him even before he came back here."

Angel has a year left on his contract with WBAL, but the deal allows him to leave for a Miami job, Beauchamp said.

Angel, 44, said working for the Marlins likely would pay more, but it's "not necessarily more attractive than what I have in Baltimore.

"It's not that I have to get out of here. I'd be happy to spend the

rest of my career in Baltimore."

The Marlins say that Angel is on their short list, though they won't elaborate, the Herald said.

You think their short list also includes Paul Williams and Prince? But I digress.

Angel's chances likely are boosted by his having spent the early part of his life in Colombia (that's South America, not New America). An announcer from South America certainly would help a team with a large Hispanic constituency.

"The background can't hurt, but I'm not going to do the games in Spanish," Angel said.

TC In a relatively short time here, Angel has become a popular announcer. With partner Jon Miller on radio just half of the season, Angel is more of a 1A than a true No. 2 man. He has a smooth, comfortable style, and works well with Miller and Chuck Thompson.

Not to wish him bad luck with the Marlins, but let's hope he sticks around.

Angel baby

Have you noticed that Angel has taken to introducing himself on the air by saying, "This is the Angel"?

You have? Have you also noticed that Ron Smith's guest list on his WBAL show has included just about everyone connected with The Washington Times except the Rev. Sun Myung Moon? Not that I'm jealous, of course. Jeff Rimer has promised to have me back on his show as soon as I wax his car again.

Oops, but I digress once more.

Anyway, Angel said the heavenly introduction "just sort of came out." It's just a different way to identify himself, he said. I guess it kind of goes with calling Thompson "The Chucker," as Angel also does.

But what to call Miller? The Jon? Probably not.

Open audition

If you've been watching much of USA Network's coverage of the U.S. Open -- it's safe now; Jimmy Connors was eliminated -- you might have caught what could be Act II of Elise Burgin's tennis career.

Burgin of Pikesville is working the Open as an analyst. Though she's not getting the exposure of Tracy Austin or Vitas Gerulaitis, this is a big step.

Burgin, 30, isn't giving up playing tennis yet -- she was in doubles at the Open until losing earlier this week -- but says she has to look beyond the court.

"I'm in a situation now where I'm still playing tennis, but I'm starting to look at some other things I want to do," Burgin said.

Television -- and not just tennis telecasts -- could be one of those other things.

"To say I want to be a tennis commentator full time is not realistic," Burgin said. "There isn't enough work."

Things my boss wants to know

Is it true that John McEnroe, when he joined USA Network as a commentator, tried to get his announcing partners tossed out of the booth because they kept talking during the match? . . . Will multitalented host George Solomon really be leaving "The Washington Post Sports Talk" for a role as the wacky neighbor on "Roseanne"? . . . When Jim Lampley serves as co-host of NBC's pre-game show, "Notre Dame Saturday," will the Irish's stadium be called Club South Bend?

On the dial

Radio stations and announcers for state college football teams:

Maryland: WBAL (1090 AM), WRC (980 AM); Johnny Holliday, Azizuddin Abdur-Ra'oof

Navy: WERQ (1010 AM), WNAV (1420 AM), WMAL (630 AM); Steve Buchhantz, Ted Patterson

Towson State: WITH (1230 AM); Spiro Morekas, Vaughn Harman

,5Morgan State: WEAA (89.7 FM); Lamont Germany, Ronnie Duncan, Renard Stubbs

Frostburg State: WFRB (560 AM, 105.3 FM); Dick Yoder, Chuck Gill

Salisbury State: WLVW (105.5 FM); Pete Medhurst, Bill Lewit

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