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Joe Angel’s retiring from Orioles broadcasts

No longer will Orioles fans hear “in the win column.” They won’t wave any more home runs “bye-bye.”

Longtime Orioles broadcaster Joe Angel won’t be returning this season, according to an industry source.

The Orioles did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

An announcement on Angel is likely to be made soon by the club.

Angel, who declined comment for this story, has completed 42 seasons as a major league broadcaster, 19 with the Orioles. He had three stints with the team, and has done the broadcasts since 2004. Angel, 71, had another year left on his contract.

In an interview last year, Angel said: “I can see myself coming back, and I can see myself maybe thinking about not coming back or thinking about cutting back on my schedule.

“I’m 71 years old. I don’t feel like I’m 71, but I’m at the point where it may be soon time to kind of step aside and give a young guy a chance to do a what I’ve done for 41 years.”

Angel’s departure, which follows the retirement of his longtime broadcast partner Fred Manfra in 2017, will force the Orioles to make changes in their broadcast booths.

Angel has most recently worked with Jim Hunter on radio broadcasts. Hunter has filled in on MASN telecasts when Gary Thorne, who is returning this season, is away.

The Orioles will need to hire at least one new broadcaster. Hunter could stay in his present role or shift to be the Orioles’ new radio voice.

When Hunter was on television, the Orioles used a number of former players to work on radio. Mike Bordick, who splits the MASN commentary with Jim Palmer, could work more radio. So could Dave Johnson, Gregg Olson and Brian Roberts. Ben McDonald, whose work has been well received, probably will work more games on radio this season.

View Comments (39)

  • My vote is for more Ben McDonald. Concise, clear and very insightful. Can’t say I’m a big Jim Hunter fan.

  • My vote is for Ben McDonald also. I am not a fan of Jim Hunter doing play by play. He is like listening to a boring professor giving out meaningless stats most of the game. I also like the idea of giving an up and coming radio voice a chance. New voices to go with the new team!!

    • Totally agree on giving an up and coming radio voice a chance! Let's add some fresh new voices. How about some of the minor league guys? I love listening to Adam Pohl with the Bowie broadcasts...

  • My heart is broken. Hunter cannot compare. A rich imagination is necessary to do radio. Oh woe to my summer evenings on the patio.

    • I take in most of my baseball through the radio. And there are so many around the league who are leaving. The "young" ones coming in do not have nearly the imagination as these old greats we are losing had.

    • I know. This is so upsetting. Such a legend. I just can't imagine the radio broadcasts without him.

  • So long Joe. Always enjoyed him. While sometimes he came across like your drunk uncle (not necessarily a bad thing) he owned big moments ("THEY GOT HIM! THEY GOT HIM! THEY GOT HIM AT THE PLATE!")

    Well this really makes the Orioles booth bland. I don't mind Jim Hunter, he's just never really stood out to me. He's like the Chris Tillman of the booth. He gets the job done but it's nothing special. I'm a big McDonald fan but he's a color guy, I doubt he fits in a play by play role. OOH! I KNOW! Take the money saved on payroll this year and give Jon Miller any price he'd care to name... yeah right that'll happen.

    • Add my vote for Jon Miller too! Oh how I have missed his talent since the O's foolishly let him go. If we take up a collection to bring him back, count me in.

    • I second the vote for Jon Miller! The best broadcaster in baseball, in my opinion. It was a sad day when Angelos didn't renew his contact because he wasn't enough of a "homer." But I'm sure Giants fans are quite happy.

  • This is a sad day. Baltimore has had some great radio talent. Joe Angel is among them. This will leave a void in the listening options: if Thorne not on, the audio is on mute. I sure hope they can find some radio talent somewhere.

    • Two things about Thorne that bother me... 1) he insists on telling us where the pitch was even though it's a TV broadcast and we can see it with our own eyes. 2) he always uses the future tense for things that already happened. "That will be ball 2." No, Gary, it is ball 2.

    • Gary Thorne to me is the Chris Collinsworth of baseball. A pompous guy who thinks he is funnier than he is.
      I think it is ironic that the argument Peter Angelos gave for not keeping Jon Miller was that he was not a full timer since he did ESPN Sunday night baseball. Thorne is off for undisclosed reasons all the time and is not 1/10 the announcer Jon Miller is.

      • I like Gary. He is easy to listen to, and doesn't hog the spotlight. I've never seen him as pompous. Paired with Palmer (not Bordick) they are a great duo. Bordick is a nice guy, but rather bland.

      • At least Thorne is not an over-the-top homer broadcaster like Bob Carpenter for the Nats. Unlike Carpenter, who thinks every good play by the Nats is Hall of Fame caliber and every call against them the worst call ever, Thorne is genuinely balanced in his analysis.

        • I agree with you on the Gnats announcers. I am also a Braves fan so I know how Pro-Gnats they are on both radio and TV. Every game the Gnats lose is either bad luck or bad umpiring.
          Jim Hunter used to be that way for the O's but he has gotten more even handed.
          I just think Thorne is over-rated. He loves to tell his inside jokes with Palmer.
          You could tell both Jon Miller and Joe Angel were pro-O's but they both honestly
          described the action. They are the two best baseball announcers I have heard.

  • I hope Hunter doesn't become the main Play-by-Play voice; he's dreadful. Joe Angel paints a beautiful picture for listeners and has genuine emotion and personality. Hunter is unimpressive and lacks any true character with his call.

  • I'd love Ben McDonald but my understanding is he has turned down the full time gig in the past. He likes doing the SEC Network baseball broadcasts and probably isn't interested in moving back north full time or in all the travel. Hopefully the organization recognizes that Hunter excites nobody and they look for a young story teller who's been working another sport or in the minor leagues.

  • I wondered if he would be back. He would never say it but I am sure he was not looking forward to announcing the games of a terrible, no-name losing club with a no-name rookie manager also.
    I am not saying the O's are not following the right course but at 66 I am not looking forward to a LOOONG rebuild any more than I'm sure Joe was.

  • This is a big one in the loss column. Joe used words to paint us a vivid picture of the game. I will miss him. I hope the O’s embrace change in the broadcast booth as well as on the field. Find a fresh new voice in the Angel/Miller mold. Calling a good ballgame is an art form, and everyone remaining on the radio side is not an artist.

  • Dang, I don't get to listen to many O's game's these days because I live in North Carolina. But when I do get back in town I love to hear that familiar voice of Joe Angel. I love the old timers calling games on the radio, most of them are retiring lately and it puts a hole in baseball that may never be filled again. The stories they tell in between pitches and the picture they can paint of the game can't be duplicated. Good luck Joe!
    On A side note I can't stand Him Hunter either, I hope he doesn't get the main job, he is unlistenable

    • Try Sirius/XM radio if you want to listen to out-of-market radio baseball games. Besides being an
      O's fan, I listen to all the Braves games online. All home and away broadcasts for all teams are
      online thru Sirius/XM.

    • Agreed that Hunter is unlistenable. There needs to be a clause in his contract whereby he cannot use the word “multi”. Must I hear “multi- rbi and multi-hit” games. Get ready for “ Villar has two hits, giving him his fourth multi- hit game of the year”. On please!

    • If you download the MLB app on your phone you can listen to all of the Orioles broadcasts. That's what I used when I lived in Carolina, since for some reason the Orioles are not allower to be broad cast down there, even the national ESPN games

      • Thanks for the info I will try it out. Fortunately I have do have masn so at least I can watch the games. But there's nothing like baseball on the radio with a great announcer

  • Wow. I loved listening to Joe Angel. He made you feel like you knew him, even though I never met him. Great sense of humor. I am a cord cutter and moved away from MASN to more radio. My only request - please no expanded role for Jim Hunter! Please. Bring in someone from the outside. Anyone, just no Jim Hunter.

  • From the comments so far, looks like the Jim Hunter fan club could hold its meetings in a phone booth (if such a thing still existed) ... don't know what the ratings are, but between every game being on TV and instantaneous updates available on the internet, my guess is that radio broadcasts of baseball have a much smaller audience than they did a few decades ago.

  • Good God, you people are sooooo negative. When John Miller left, the Orioles didn’t stop broadcasting games. They found someone to donplay by play and it worked out fine. I’ll miss Joe Angel, but he’ll be replaced by a competent broadcaster. I’d like to see Brian Roberts. I think that he has tons of potential! Best of luck to whoever the O’s hire to fill Joe’s shoes!

  • Very sad news about Joe Angel. It took a while for me to get used to his style, but he is so knowledgeable. And quite funny.

  • Joe deserves to retire, but we sure will miss him. As for radio, I love Ben McDonald. And I disagree about Jim Hunter. I like him & think he’s knowledgeable and entertaining. As for hiring another person; shame we couldn’t have cloned Chuck Thompson or Jon Miller!

  • I say put Jim Palmer in the booth, then we wouldn’t have to look at his “attempt” at the unshaven look...lol...

  • Rich - Any idea when the list of affiliates will be released for the upcoming season? (if it hasn't already been released). Os fan in Northern Virginia and I'm hoping they stray from 980. Os are on 980 as filler when one of their other licensing obligations doesn't have a game. Last year they were pre-empted for NBA playoffs, Virginia, Georgetown, MD, etc.

  • Rich - this seems very sudden, especially with games only a few weeks away. With Joe not wanting to comment, it seems like there's more here. is it typical for broadcasters to retire right before the season starts as opposed to at the end of a season? You'd think he would've wanted to say his goodbyes at the end of last season and given them a whole offseason to find a replacement.

    And I haven't seen this reported anywhere else really but here which I find strange. This is big news for O's fans.

  • Who are we kidding, we weren't going to here "put that one in the win column" or "wave that baby bye bye" much this year anyways. I think we should lobby to bring Bob Uecker to charm city portraying Harry Doyle from Major League. Think of the legendary quotes from that movie that would be fully applicable to the '19 Birds. He could cuss on air and no one would notice, or complement our wonderful staff's accuracy with the infamous "just a bit outside." In all seriousness, I will miss Angel and would love to have Miller on the airwaves. However, the chances of him coming back to Baltimore are about the same as the team playing 500 or better baseball.

  • Jim Hunter is OK but I’d like someone new or someone we all remember. Bring back Jon Miller! Ben McDonald is a great color analyst so he’s earned more games