O's omnipresent owner is ultimate utility man

October 07, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

Coming soon in these pages . . .

* Oct. 18: Yogi Berra becomes the 13th candidate to interview with the Orioles for their vacant manager's job.

"We want to make sure we don't leave anyone out," general manager Roland Hemond says.

Berra, 69, who hasn't managed in nine years, is philosophical.

"I don't understand why they called me," he says, "but it makes sense."

* Oct. 22: Peter Angelos eats breakfast in New York with Donald Fehr, flies to Los Angeles for lunch with Georgia Frontiere, then flies to Washington for a working dinner with State Department officials assigned to the Haiti crisis.

"I don't care if my name is in the paper," Angelos says.

* Oct. 27: Dave Johnson, the former Orioles pitcher from Middle River, becomes the second candidate named Dave Johnson to interview with the Orioles for their vacant manager's job.

"You can never be too careful," general manager Roland Hemond says.

Johnson, who has never managed, is the 18th person to interview for the job.

"I'm flattered," he says, "but to be honest, I think they dialed the wrong number."

* Nov. 2: Peter Angelos eats breakfast with relief officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina, flies to New York for lunch with Paul Tagliabue, then flies to South Africa for dinner with Nelson Mandela, from whom he mistakenly attempts to buy an NFL franchise for $275 million.

"We would be happy to sell you a rugby team," Mandela says.

* Nov. 13: The Baltimore CFLs win their first-round playoff game by forfeit when the Toronto Argonauts are sold to a Canadian construction tycoon who puts the players to work pouring concrete.

* Nov. 17: In a bizarre move, Johnny Oates becomes the 29th person to interview for the managerial vacancy created by his firing.

"You can never interview enough capable candidates," general manager Roland Hemond says.

Oates tries out a new method of dealing with owner Peter Angelos: He covers his ears and hums loudly whenever Angelos speaks.

"I think it might work," Oates says.

* Nov. 19: Peter Angelos buys "Prime Time Live" from ABC, names himself co-host with Diane Sawyer and arranges for Richard Ravitch and Donald Fehr to hug in a live segment watched by 60 million.

"It's a start," Angelos says.

* Nov. 20: The Baltimore CFLs advance to the Grey Cup when their opponents in the division title game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, are sold to the Arena Football League for cash and a recreational vehicle.

* Nov. 25: Ken Burns becomes the 32nd person to interview for the Orioles' vacant manager's job.

"He knows baseball as well as anyone," general manager Roland Hemond says.

The interview lasts 18 1/2 hours.

"Good gracious, who has that much to say about anything?" an angered Burns says.

* Nov. 27: The Baltimore CFLs win the Grey Cup by forfeit when the Edmonton Eskimos' shoulder pads are repossessed.

* Dec. 12: Working the phones out of his law offices, Peter Angelos spends the morning trying to get long-bond prices raised, spends the afternoon trying to lure a Disney theme park to the Inner Harbor and spends the evening working on two tasks: wooing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and polishing his State of the State Address, to be broadcast on statewide television the next night.

LTC "Who needs a governor?" Angelos asks.

* Dec. 17: The Orioles interview their 43rd candidate for manager.

"I wouldn't make a comment even if I had one to make," Eddie Murray says.

* Dec. 22: Peter Angelos ties up "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and puts him in a locked closet, saving the holidays for millions of children around the world.

"Can-do people can do," he explains.

* Jan. 5: Toying with a landmark co-manager arrangement, the Orioles bring in Earl Weaver and Jim Palmer for interviews. They are the 50th and 51st candidates.

"Holy Toledo, I must be thicker than a potted plant," an introspective Weaver says.

* Jan. 15: Peter Angelos solves the baseball strike ingeniously: He locks all the parties in a hotel room with reruns of Ken Burns' "Baseball" showing nonstop on the TV.

"Principles only weigh so much in a man's mind," a haggard Donald Fehr says. "If I saw George Will one more time, I was going to get sick."

* Jan. 22: Roland Hemond calls Rick Dempsey to invite him to interview for the manager's job.

"Look at your list. You already called me," Dempsey says.

"Oops, my mistake," Hemond says.

* Feb. 4: The Bucs and Los Angeles Rams both announce plans to move to Baltimore.

Peter Angelos, in Brazil working to save the rain forest, is not available for comment.

* Feb. 9: After interviewing 63 candidates, the Orioles hire football's Jimmy Johnson as their manager.

A clause in his contract stipulates that he isn't required to wear a cap over his big hair.

"I'll jump on a javelin if we don't win it all this year," Johnson barks at a packed news conference.

Peter Angelos stands at the back of the room, beaming.

PD "I love this guy," he says. "I may take him to Haiti next week."

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