People's voice on Miller's exit: boo Ravens fans knock O's for losing announcer

November 04, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

For many of the fans attending yesterday's Ravens game at Memorial Stadium, news that Jon Miller will be leaving his job as Orioles play-by-play announcer was met with anger.

The popular response: "It stinks," said Carl Hucke, 31, of Perry Hall.

And sometimes, it got nasty.

Miller, 44, is ending his 14-year association with the Orioles. Owner Peter Angelos said Miller was not "an advocate for the team," and the Orioles haven't made an offer to retain his services now that his two-year contract has expired.

Miller's agent, Ron Shapiro, said he is negotiating with three clubs -- the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees.

Miller has said he will maintain a home in Baltimore, but it was apparent yesterday that a large number of his listeners want him here year-round.

"I think this is terrible," Hucke said. "He's the best in the game. They get rid of him because he's too critical? I think they need somebody to get on them a little bit. They've got to keep him. The guy's a future Hall of Famer, probably. He should stay."

Ed Davies, 46, of Sykesville has been listening to Miller longer than many Orioles fans. He used to live in Boston when Miller announced Red Sox games.

"He's the best in the business, and I'd be really upset if he left. I'm a little upset about the fact that he misses a lot of the Orioles games working for ESPN, but other than that, I love the guy," he said.

"Anybody who can do imitations and knows the game that well "

Gary Paff, 49, of Parkville said Miller is one of the reasons Camden Yards usually is packed. "People listen to him, they want to come out to see the game," he said.

"Angelos is screwing up. Any time he gets involved with something now, it seems like it's negative."

The closest anyone came to defending Angelos was Joe Papparotto, 57, of White Marsh, who was wearing an Orioles cap. "If I spent all that money for a baseball team, I should have my say as to what I wanted and selecting my employees," he said.

That doesn't mean Papparotto is anti-Miller. Far from it.

"I think the Orioles are making a big mistake," he said.

So does James Matthews, 33, of Severna Park. "Jon Miller is an Orioles tradition," he said.

"It's a real shame to let him go," said another fan. "He's one of the most talented announcers I've ever heard. Not offering him a contract is an insult to him and the city.

"I don't necessarily want an announcer who's a cheerleader. There's too many of them around, and they don't add much "

The man wouldn't give his name. "I know the owner," he said, "and he would get really mad if he saw it."

Pub Date: 11/04/96

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