Baltimore Orioles: Changes in the booth?

If a report that came out yesterday is correct, Baltimore Orioles fans should expect a change in 2019 regarding one of the ways they consume the games. Longtime radio voice Joe Angel is rumored to be retiring. Angel, 71, has been calling Orioles’ games on the radio since 2004.

And let me also say that he’s been calling Orioles’ games very well on the radio since 2004. I’m a fan of Angel’s work, and assuming I’m fact that he’s planning on “hanging up his mic,” it’s a loss for Orioles fans. Nobody’s blaming the man for retiring mind you, but I felt he was really great at what he did.

Angel enjoyed two stints with the O’s, working with Jon Miller and Chuck Thompson during the late 80’s and early 90’s. He returned to the Orioles in 2004, where he was paired with Fred Manfra. As time went on Manfra cut back his work load, and more and more Angel found himself calling the games with Jim Hunter. Angel and Hunter in my opinion had chemistry together, and I always felt that they presented the games very well together on the radio.

For the record, neither the Orioles nor Joe Angel himself has commented on this report – it could always be erroneous. However the report’s out there. The question is where do the Orioles go now in terms of a lead play-by-play guy? I would submit that the aforementioned Jim Hunter could easily fill that role. In fact, as loyal as he’s been to the organization I think he’s deserving of a shot to fill that chair.

Like many teams the Orioles in effect have traditionally used a dual play-by-play man in the radio booth. The announcers would alternate every couple of innings. If the Orioles go with Hunter, do they bring in another guy capable of doing play-by-play, or instead bring in someone just to fill the color commentary role?

Whatever happens, the Orioles need to get this right. There’s no other sport which has a relationship with radio the way that baseball does. Radio play-by-play is a huge thing in baseball, and it’s a role that teams really need to figure out when the position is open. They also need to ensure that whomever is paired with that play-by-play guy has good chemistry. Again, this is more important in baseball than in any other sport.

Assuming in fact that this report is true, I wish Joe Angel well.

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