See you later: Reghi's O's TV days are over

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Hunter, Manfra to share TV play-by-play duties

Segui impresses in debut

Orioles

February 25, 2004|By Roch Kubatko and Joe Christensen | Roch Kubatko and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Orioles' rearranged television and radio broadcast teams no longer have a spot for Michael Reghi.

With Joe Angel being hired by WBAL Radio to do play-by-play, returning to the city after a 12-year absence, Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra will share the play-by-play duties on Comcast SportsNet and the Orioles Television Network while also assisting on the radio broadcasts.

Analysts Jim Palmer and Buck Martinez return to the television booth, but Reghi's contract wasn't renewed after seven seasons.

Reghi informed the club in June that he wanted a reduced schedule this season because of his other professional obligations, which includes doing play-by-play for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and on assorted college football and basketball telecasts.

Hunter was hired by WBAL Radio on Feb. 5, 1997. He becomes the lead play-by-play announcer on television broadcasts.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for me professionally," he said. "Growing up in the house I did, where my father's job was producing major league baseball games on television, this is something I've been around my entire life. This gives me an opportunity to reach a different audience. And the best part of it is, I'll still be involved in radio. It really gives me the best of both. This reminds me of the way broadcasters used to have their assignments when I was growing up."

Palmer, the winningest pitcher in team history, is entering his 12th season as an analyst. Martinez was hired last year.

Angel will work five innings of every game on the Orioles' flagship radio station, with Hunter or Manfra - in his 12th season - handling the rest. He'll also do the manager's report.

Angel most recently called games for the San Francisco Giants with Jon Miller, his former partner on WBAL Radio. He's also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Florida Marlins.

"We've worked with our broadcast partners, WBAL and Comcast SportsNet, to create the flexibility to upgrade every aspect of our television and radio broadcasts," said Bob Whitelaw, director of operations and programming for the Orioles Television Network.

"Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra have become so identified with Orioles baseball that we wanted them to have an expanded role in all of our broadcast properties. Jim Palmer and Buck Martinez are among baseball's best analysts, and teaming them with Jim and Fred makes for a first-rate broadcast team. The return of Joe Angel to our radio broadcast is surely a welcomed addition that brings even more Orioles familiarity to the region's airwaves."

Line drives from Segui

The Orioles had no idea what to expect yesterday when David Segui stepped into the batting cage for the first time of the spring, and the results were rather encouraging.

Segui, a switch-hitter who was limited to 67 games last season and underwent a second surgery on his left wrist Sept. 8, swung a little gingerly at first, but by the end of the session, he was hitting line drives with authority from both sides of the plate.

"I'm just working through the initial stiffness," said Segui, who started swinging a bat again three weeks ago at home in Kansas City, Kan. "It was pretty much the same way last spring."

Segui, 37, will make $7 million this year in the final season of a four-year contract. He has been hampered by so many injuries the past three years, the Orioles are not counting on him.

There even has been talk of keeping him on the disabled list so the team can recoup 70 percent of his salary from its insurance policy. But if healthy, Segui could help bolster the lineup as the designated hitter.

"He hasn't played much the last few years," said Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. "So you have to watch him this spring and see how he feels."

The surgery Segui had in September to repair tendon damage in the wrist was similar to the surgery he had in May 2002. Last spring, he had some initial stiffness, but a few days into camp he felt 100 percent.

This spring, it could take a few weeks before Segui can say the same thing.

"It's a little more sore," Segui said, "because I've had three months less to recover this year."

Mandatory day off

The Orioles will hold their first full-squad workout today, and Mazzilli said all his position players should be ready to go.

Rafael Palmeiro, B.J. Surhoff and Luis Matos had yet to settle into their lockers at Fort Lauderdale Stadium yesterday afternoon, but all are expected to be in camp today.

Brian Roberts, Jerry Hairston, Jay Gibbons and Jack Cust worked out voluntarily on Monday, but Mazzilli insisted all of them take yesterday off.

"I told them, `I don't want you coming to the park today,'" Mazzilli said. "`I want you to go home, do what you need to do with your family, go to the beach, whatever you need to do, because this is your last day off. [Today,] we're going to go at it, hard.' And I think the guys appreciated that. They don't need to prove anything to me by being out here taking batting practice. I know they're hard workers."

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