Orioles continue shuffling deck in search for play-by-play man

Media Watch

February 21, 1997|By Milton Kent

With less than three weeks to go before the first Orioles telecast, the search to replace Mel Proctor as play-by-play announcer appears to be wide-open.

ESPN baseball studio anchor Gary Miller apparently has re-emerged as a solid candidate, and former Orioles outfielder -- Ken Singleton said he has not heard from the club since he met with broadcasting and marketing director Michael Lehr early last week.

Meanwhile, the presumed front-runner, Michael Reghi, said last night that he has spoken with club and HTS officials, but has not received what he would consider a hard and fast offer.

Reghi, who calls Cleveland Cavaliers games, said the involved parties are talking about a number of potential holdups, including conflicts with his basketball schedule.

"We've talked about various issues, but I can't consider that I've been offered a job until I receive a contract," said Reghi. "I highly desire the job as long as all parties can be satisfied. I hope I'm the ticket they punch."

Lehr could not be reached to comment yesterday.

Miller, a Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan who had been thought to be out of the Orioles' picture, has climbed back into the scene, and is greatly interested in the job.

"There's only a couple things that I would leave what I'm doing for," Miller said yesterday. "I'm a Wrigley [Field] guy. I've always said I wanted to have my ashes spread in the ivy, but Camden to me, they've really got it. It's got every bit the charm, the appeal, the friendliness, the coziness that Wrigley has. I love that area."

Miller declined to say whether he had received an offer or not, but said he expected a resolution in the next few days.

Singleton, on the other hand, continues to wait for word from either Lehr or HTS about their interest.

"It's been an interesting process. It's out of my hands," said Singleton. "I know what I bring to the table and it should be enough, but if not, then we move on to other opportunities. That's what we do in life, in baseball and in broadcasting."

The promo corner

For a second straight year, Fox is fanning cameras all over Florida and Arizona to film promotional spots for its baseball coverage this summer, with 40 player commercials and 20 anti-violence segments.

The network plans to film Orioles Cal Ripken and Brady Anderson among the players tapped for this year's campaign. Ripken and Anderson are scheduled to be filmed next Friday.

In addition to the promo and anti-violence spots, Fox will devote one of its segments to commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's cracking baseball's color line.

Meanwhile, ESPN this weekend will unveil its new women's NCAA basketball tournament promo, which will feature Aretha Franklin belting "Hi Heel Sneakers," as well as a version of "Miss America," performed by Angela McCluskey, lead singer of the Wild Colonials.

The network got great mileage last season from Joan Jett's cover of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme as well as a version of the Commodores' "Brick House." The new spots will air through ESPN's coverage of the Final Four next month and will include footage of California, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Stanford and Western Kentucky.

Around the dial

The college basketball regular season winds to its close and the games get more and more meaningful. Tomorrow's ACC doubleheader (Channel 54, 1 p.m.) has Wake Forest visiting Virginia, followed by the Maryland-North Carolina game. Sunday's CBS twin bill of Michigan-Purdue and Connecticut-Villanova looks intriguing. Channel 13 will pick up the Michigan-Purdue game in progress at 12: 30 p.m.

On the women's scene, Home Team Sports has an ACC day-night doubleheader, with Bryn Mawr's Kisha Ford leading Georgia Tech into a must-win contest with North Carolina State at noon, followed at 7 p.m. by Virginia-North Carolina, which may decide the top seed in next week's tournament.

In what seems like the first time since dinosaurs roamed free, the Washington Bullets get two big-time national television appearance, first with tonight's game against Chicago (TNT, 8 p.m.), followed by Sunday's NBC regional ride as they play host to Detroit (Channel 11, 1 p.m.) The second game of Sunday's NBC doubleheader pits the Knicks against the Lakers at 3: 30 p.m.

NBC will have live coverage of the Mobil Indoor Invitational track meet from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., tomorrow at 2 p.m.

The meet will feature a 60-meter sprint faceoff between Gwen Torrence and Gail Devers, who, as is becoming the trend in track, apparently don't like each other.

Finally, tune in to HBO's "Boxing After Dark" match tomorrow at 10 p.m. to see if either junior lightweight champion Arturo Gatti or former champ Tracy Harris Patterson breaks down and cries in the ring.

Hey, it has happened before. It could happen again.

Pub Date: 2/21/97

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