Angelos was quickly reminded of this fact. He looked absolutely stunned.
“Well, if he’s a Yankee fan – if he’s that, as you said Nestor – you know that’s his privilege, he can be a fan of any team he wishes to be. But when he’s on that microphone he better be an Oriole fan or he’s not going to be here too long.”
The host then offered that he’d pass that along to Jim Hunter.
“Listen, I think he knows it! I mean, remember now, I’m not saying the Jim should in any way color what he sees or distort what he sees. I think he should be absolutely accurate. He should be honest with the fans and I really believe that all announcers are basically that way. But, I believe, if we’re losing, and we’re losing a playoff game which means we’re out of the playoffs, that you’re not talking about where you’re going to dinner that night. Or how great all the Yankee players are. Ya know, at least you can say, ‘Don’t worry out there folks, we’ll get ‘em next year.’ Or encourage the fans that while this is a pretty sad moment in our baseball year, that next year we’re gonna be back and we’re gonna win next year. Not to act too blasé or too cavalier about our team losing.”
So did he ever approach Miller to discuss an on-air approach? Miller said upon leaving that he never had any real interaction with Angelos, that he’d barely met him.
“I’ve never had lunch with Jon, for that matter I’ve never had lunch with any baseball player that plays for the Orioles except Cal Ripken. I make it my business not to intrude on the players’ time. Just because I’m the boss, so to speak, or the managing partner, I don’t intrude on the players’ personal lives. They know if they need something if there’s a problem they can come to me. In fact they have. Some of them have. And the same holds true with Jon as well the other announcers with whom I’m friendly. I’m friendly with people who are part of the organization but there’s one thing I wouldn’t do, for example, the team is in spring training right now, but I would not impose of their time to ask them to come with me in order for me to display them because of their popularity.
“So the same holds true with Jon (Miller). I know him. I met him. We had brief little chats. We never really sat down and talked baseball. I never felt like it was necessary. I felt he did an acceptable job and outside of the reference I made a moment ago, I thought he was a good announcer. I think he left Baltimore because he had a five-year deal in San Francisco for $2.5 million and I understand there were some other fringe benefits far and above what he was getting here in Baltimore.
“But I think the most decisive factor was that his wife wanted to go back where her family is. I respect that. I think he did what his wife wanted him to do. And I think that’s what a responsible husband should do.”
(The following spring, in May 1998, Jon Miller sat in the WLG studio and sobbed when he heard the replay of Angelos’ implicating his wife in his departure from Baltimore. Miller, in tears, flatly called Angelos’ side of the story a complete lie, saying his kids were in high school and there’s no way he or his wife ever wanted to uproot their lives in Baltimore. They’d been in Baltimore for almost 14 years. They simply wanted some stability that Angelos had no intention of offering because he clearly didn’t value