Wave him bye-bye: Angel takes Marlins' bait Announcer joins expansion team

October 06, 1992|By Ray Frager | Ray Frager,Staff Writer

Hi, Joe. Bye, Joe.

Joe Angel, who returned to Orioles radio broadcasts this season, one year after leaving for New York, is departing WBAL again, headed to Florida for a job as voice of the expansion Marlins.

Angel decided over the weekend to accept the Marlins' offer to become their No. 1 radio announcer, WBAL Radio vice president and station manager Jeff Beauchamp said yesterday.

"We're disappointed that Joe's leaving," Beauchamp said. "This was an opportunity that, quite frankly, he couldn't pass up."

Angel, 44, was unavailable for comment. The Marlins, who have scheduled a news conference for today, presumably to announce Angel's hiring, declined to speak about the announcer.

"We made an effort to keep Joe," Beauchamp said, "but Jon Miller is the No. 1 guy, and Joe wanted a broadcast to call his own."

Beauchamp said the money in WBAL's offer was called acceptable by Angel and his representative, Ron Shapiro, but the station could not compete in other areas.

"Two issues were out of our control," Beauchamp said. "Joe's wife, Antoinette, wasn't enamored of moving, and, if she left California [the Angel family lives near Sacramento], she wanted to go to a warm climate.

"The other was Joe's desire to have the No. 1 job."

Though he misses half of the radio games for his television assignments on Channel 2 and ESPN, Miller -- considered one of baseball's best announcers -- still takes the lead role on WBAL broadcasts.

Even before he returned to Baltimore, Angel was being courted by the Marlins. His contract with WBAL allowed him to leave for the Marlins job. Angel's ethnic background -- he was born in Colombia -- likely was a plus to the Marlins, who will play in Miami, which has a large Hispanic population.

Angel's departure leaves WBAL (1090 AM) in search of a new announcer for the third consecutive off-season. Angel, who came to the Orioles in 1988, went to the New York Yankees after the 1990 season. He was replaced by television writer-turned-broadcaster Ken Levine for 1991. Levine's contract wasn't renewed last year, and Angel returned for the inaugural season at Camden Yards.

Miller will be working with his fifth principal partner next season. Since his arrival in 1983, Miller has been paired with Tom Marr, Jack Wiers, Levine and Angel.

Chuck Thompson, who substitutes for Miller on radio, will return in the same role in 1993, Beauchamp said.

But, starting today, the audition tapes are likely to start piling up in Beauchamp's office.

"We have some candidates in mind," he said. "Hopefully, by the end of the year, we'll have a replacement."

The new announcer would continue in Angel's role -- No. 2 when Miller is there, lead announcer when Miller is away.

"As the third man in the booth, it's important that he be a good fit with Jon and Chuck," Beauchamp said.

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