In their own words, a look at the relationship between Orioles owner Peter Angelos and manager Davey Johnson:
Oct. 16: (After Johnson had interviewed for the manager's job to succeed Johnny Oates, the Orioles instead hired Phil Regan.) Johnson: "I heard they wanted an experienced manager and a proven winner. That's why I interviewed for the job. But I guess that's not what they wanted, right?"
Oct. 17: (A year later, the Orioles again interviewed Johnson, this time as a replacement for Regan. Unlike a year before, Johnson interviewed with Angelos.) Angelos: "His baseball knowledge is impressive, and his strong background with the Orioles came through."
Oct. 18: Johnson: "I enjoyed meeting him [Angelos]. You read stories about the Big Bad Wolf, but he was really nice."
Oct. 30: (The owner was effusive in his praise after announcing Johnson's hiring.) Angelos: "This is a move in the direction of producing a winner. We are committed to building a winner in Baltimore, and Davey is a vital part of that effort. He has a winning attitude. He's a very down-to-earth, forthright baseball professional with an extensive knowledge, and his record clearly establishes that."
Dec. 2: (Johnson helped persuade general manager Pat Gillick to come work for Angelos.) Johnson: "I told Pat that Peter's heart is as big as gold."
March 18: Angelos: "Davey is terrific. Win or lose, he's brought a certain dimension to this club that was sorely missing previously."
Oct. 23: (After Johnson's first season ended with a disappointing loss to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, Angelos addressed speculation that the manager would change.) Angelos: "You couldn't get him out of Baltimore if you chased him with a pitchfork."
July 25: (Johnson raised the issue of his job status.) Johnson: "Basically, I got a three-year contract, but I feel that we've got to do it [reach the World Series] in two. If I don't win, I get fired."
Oct. 5: (Angelos addressed Johnson's status after the Orioles defeated the Mariners in a Division Series.) Angelos: "He's got another year on his contract. There's no reason to believe the Orioles will dismiss him. The only suggestions Davey Johnson would not be part of the Orioles next year is the one he stated. It never came before me or the front office. If Davey is feeling more confident today, he has every right to."
Oct. 15: (After the Orioles were eliminated in the ALCS by the Indians, Angelos declines to discuss Johnson's status.) Angelos: "Why does everybody always want to stir things up?"
Oct. 22: (Angelos was asked again about Johnson.) Angelos: "Davey said he wasn't coming back, so go ask him."
Oct. 24: Angelos: "There is no threat he's going to lose his job. He has a contract that is binding, and I plan to fulfill the conditions of that contract. One thing is for certain: I have never said that Davey would be fired. I have never said he had to get to the World Series to keep his job. Yet the focus of this is on me. That I don't understand. None of this has come from Peter Angelos."
Oct. 27: (Angelos responded to Johnson's request for a contract extension or a buyout.) Angelos: "There's nothing to negotiate. He's under contract."
Oct. 29: Johnson: "I'm not a quitter. I'm a fighter."
Oct. 30: Angelos: "The matter is still under review." Johnson: "I've always said I love Baltimore. It's where I started as a player. It's where I always wanted to manage. But I'm like anybody else. I'd like to know where I stand."
Oct. 31: (Johnson spoke to Angelos.) Johnson: "I'm just waiting to see what happens. We talked. We both said our piece. And I thought it was a fairly constructive thing. But beyond that, I don't know."
Nov. 5: (In an exchange of faxes, Johnson resigned and Angelos accepted the resignation.) Johnson: "Your apparent lack of regard for my management skills and for me as a person is reflected in your statements to the press and the front office staff that my status as manager is 'under review.' " Angelos: "In my considered judgment, it would clearly be in the best interests of the Orioles' organization for a change of field manager for 1998."
Pub Date: 11/06/97