About the letters
The opinions on this page represent a small percentage of the letters, faxes and E-mail sent to The Sun about manager Davey Johnson's resignation from the Orioles. Most responses were edited for space.
Fan stepping down
An open letter to Orioles owner Peter Angelos:
I am writing to submit my resignation as an Orioles fan. I have been a diehard O's fan, one who bleeds black and orange, for 15 years, but your recent actions leave me no choice, as far as I am concerned.
Davey Johnson was arguably the best and unarguably the most successful Orioles manager since Earl Weaver, and you basically forced his resignation. Don't worry, the screen door won't hit him on the way out, but it might hit Brady Anderson and team MVP Randy Myers, who will have a hard time swallowing any arguments that they should accept less than their full market value and sign with the Orioles out of loyalty. I'd be surprised if they came back, even if the Orioles were the top bidder for their services.
For me, the Johnson saga was the last straw, not the first. Your decision to let Jon Miller, the great broadcaster, walk last year was no less appalling.
Thanks to your appalling lack of either loyalty or appreciation of -- quality service in the cases of Johnson and Miller, I am exercising my prerogative as a fan to find another team. This decision is irrevocable, as long as you continue as the team's principal owner.
'97 success due to Angelos
Peter Angelos is the first owner in years who has spent money on the Orioles. As of 1997, the team payroll was in excess of $50 million and is expected to increase dramatically in 1998. This great financial support is because of Angelos. Under Angelos, the Orioles have fielded one of the great teams of the 1990s. There are 10 Gold Gloves in the infield, an All-Star pitching staff and the deepest bullpen in baseball.
The Orioles of 1997 were phenomenal, and it was because of Angelos, not Davey Johnson. Angelos fielded the best team in baseball in '97. Was it not reasonable to expect this team to make it to the World Series? I did. Ladies and gentlemen of Baltimore, Davey couldn't get the job done. Sure, Davey is the winningest active manager, but let's not forget that the three ballclubs he has managed in his career were all supported well financially.
The fact is, in League Championship Series, Davey is just one for five, with a .357 winning percentage. Let Davey manage a team like Toronto or the Tigers and let's see how far he gets. I'll stick with Angelos any day.
Angelos hardly a savior
To say the Angelos ownership has been a bumpy ride is to say the Hindenberg had a slight brush with gravity. This guy's a disaster and yet, sadly, he remains completely and utterly clueless. The worst part is that he continues his onslaught under the guise of being the savior and protector of his players and fans.
Let's recap: He won't field a replacement team because of Cal Ripken. TV commentator John Lowenstein has to go because he criticizes the players. Bobby Bonilla and David Wells can't be traded because we deserve to see good baseball. Jon Miller has to go because he doesn't support the home team. Davey has to go because of his handling of Roberto Alomar.
Angelos' decisions are all based on one thing: an insatiable appetite to feed his maniacal and over-inflated ego. But we all see him for what he really is -- a false prophet -- the dreaded wolf in sheep's clothing. The sad thing is, he still has no idea how the people truly feel, and what the people really want to say to him, and that is: "Stop messing up our baseball team!"
It's a good thing Davey Johnson resigned because he would have been fired anyway. Any manager who has blatant disrespect for authority does not deserve to be an Orioles manager.
As an armchair manager who missed very few games on TV this year, I knew enough to sacrifice bunt and move the runner to third base. What happened, Davey?
Dennis J. Weaver
Davey Johnson never got the recognition from Peter Angelos that he was due. Angelos withheld that recognition, just as a dysfunctional parent would withhold from a child he was trying to manipulate. Angelos could not even compliment Davey on his Manager of the Year award during the interviews before he explained why he accepted Davey's resignation.
Angelos will never find the perfect manager. He may find someone who will work to his liking, but what is he going to do when this manager does not win games? I may be wrong, but the fans of Baltimore wanted a winner. History will record that what happened this week was a grave mistake.
O's heading for a fall
In my opinion, Peter Angelos has made a major blunder.
Davey Johnson is worth five to 10 wins a year, and the winning continuity is now gone. If Ray Miller becomes the next manager, the O's will be in a lose-lose situation. Both the quality of the pitching coach and field manager will go down.
I predict that the O's will not make the postseason next year and general manager Pat Gillick will not re-sign after next season.
Angelos has two good qualities. He has a ton of money and is local. He should concentrate in his law practice and leave baseball up to the professionals.
Playpen at Camden Yards
This is an ego trip from the top down, i.e., Angelos, Johnson, Alomar.
They don't care about the team or the fans. They should get out of their sandboxes and play ball!
Congratulations! Your humble servants (season-ticket holders)
honor you today. On this day, the 7th of November, in the year of our Orioles 1997, you take your good and just position in the world of modern-day professional sports. Earning your place this day with the likes of Jerry Jones, George Steinbrenner and the late Robert Irsay. It takes a special person to enjoy such notoriety and you do it with such perfect pageantry and passion.
Davey Johnson (AL Manager of the Year) did not deserve the execution decree that you so boldly delivered. The eyes of Baltimore are upon you, King Peter, and your fate rests with the baseball gods.
King Peter II
Congratulations to Peter Angelos. He's the only person on the planet who could make George Steinbrenner look like St. Francis of Assisi. In the last two years, the imperial King Peter has run off merely the best announcer in baseball, Jon Miller, and, perhaps the best manager in baseball, Davey Johnson.
And why? Forget the smoke and mirrors about Miller's criticizing the Orioles or Johnson's directing Alomar's fine to his wife's charity. They were run out of town because they didn't get down on their knees and kiss Angelos' ring.
There may even be a few of those cheese-eating, wine-sipping, cell-phoning fans who are silently applauding him for the slick and sleazy way he shoved Johnson out the door. After all, inside the D.C. beltway, that tactic is an art form.
But for the working stiffs in Baltimore who live and die with the Orioles, they know a stab in the back when they see one. And they see an imperious owner who was not content until he twisted the knife. At least with Steinbrenner, what you saw was ** what you got.
We all love baseball for its simple complexity, an escape from our jobs and the everyday pressures of our lives. Sadly, Angelos' monumental ego has spilled over into idyllic Oriole Park, and Camden Yards is no longer our private sanctuary.
Face it, Orioles fans, until Peter Angelos stops meddling in the baseball affairs of the team, our beloved Orioles are nothing more than the Yankees without the pinstripes!
Johnson's timing perfect
Congratulations, Mr. Angelos, for fooling me into thinking you were the best owner in baseball.
You're not. You're just another tampering, egomaniac owner. You've made the A-list, alongside Jerry Reinsdorf, Marge Schott, George Steinbrenner and, yes, even Robert Irsay.
Not only have you jeopardized your team's chance of winning next year, you've also managed to tarnish the image of the classiest organization in sports.
How ironic that Davey Johnson, in resigning just hours before being named Manager of the Year, demonstrated once again that not only is he a good strategist, but also knows when to
make a move.
Rise up, minority owners
Peter Angelos has become a bigger egomaniac than George Steinbrenner and Al Davis combined.
I have been an Orioles fan my entire life, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to watch this team knowing that Angelos, his sons, and his cronies, like Joe Foss, are running this organization that once was regarded as the best franchise in baseball.
Perhaps, the other owners of the Orioles should wake up and find a way to boot these morons out of power before they permanently destroy this franchise. I'm sure Angelos is looking for Phil Regan's phone number right now.
It's the boss' money
Peter Angelos paid $175 million for the Orioles. He later hired an excellent manager and general manager in Davey Johnson and Pat Gillick. He allowed them to acquire the best players they could with salaries now approaching $60 million a year. He promised Baltimore a winner and delivered.
No question he is the boss and should have the final say. Davey Johnson is one of the best managers in baseball, but he is not the boss.
Stanley L. Ray
Let's start with Roberto Alomar -- and for that matter, all ballplayers. In the real world, you have a boss. When you're told to be somewhere, or to do something, you do it! Or maybe you don't have a job the next day. These guys make tons of money and act like little babies.
So the boss reprimanded Alomar $10,500. And said he must donate the fine money to a great cause. The player, who probably spent that much on his last pair of shoes, reacts by pouting.
Then Angelos got mad because he wasn't consulted. He's supposed to have enough confidence in his manager, whom he appointed, to handle things like this.
There's no need to find a new manager. We have one: Peter Angelos.
7+ The one with the most toys wins, right?
No Orioles Magic here
Well, the "Amazing" Peter Angelos pulled out his black top hat and cape and made Davey disappear. Now as fans, the only thing we can do, is sit and wait for the next magic act. Maybe with the wave of his hand, he could pull a "Cito" out of his hat, or a "Sparky" from up his sleeve.
For the fans of Baltimore, it's a magic act that went bad. Should Angelos and the Orioles come out on top in 1998, all is forgotten. But, if the Davey Johnson-led Toronto Blue Jays come out on top in 1998, Angelos might be using his hat and cape to make himself disappear.
Orioles' dark ages
I think the Orioles have hit rock bottom. What will it take to satisfy Angelos' ego? Maybe name him Caesar of Baltimore. Better yet, Caesar of Maryland and all the dominions. Then, those forced to deal with him need only kiss his ring. These are dark days in Oriole history.
Thanks for nothing, Peter
Thank you, Peter, for running Davey Johnson out of town.
I can't imagine another summer having to watch the best active manager in baseball guide the team to another postseason, day after day.
G; The strain and pressure would be positively unbearable.
Fans need to strike back
This action further underscores the cold reality that what fans want is of no consequence to owners, managers or players.
This behavior will continue unabated until fans use the power they've always had but fail to wield as a group, the power of the wallet.
Let's make a liar out of P. T. Barnum, who said there's a sucker born every minute.
Johnson went too far
Who is Johnson to fine a player and say where the money goes? Shouldn't the organization as a whole decide this?
Personally, I've never liked him since he came here and I feel he's responsible for us losing a few games because he didn't take the pitcher out when he knew he should have. I think the public needs to get off Angelos' back. He kept the team here. He agreed to pay outrageous salaries.
8, There are other good managers out there.
Longtime fan disappointed
The owner of the Orioles seems to be completely thinking only of himself and not the good of the players and managers. Johnson won Manager of the Year! What does the owner want?
I will turn 86 years old this December and for the past 70 years I have loved baseball. From the minor leagues to the majors. I held season tickets for years and would never miss a game if I could possibly help it. But now, when I can only watch the games on TV or listen on the radio, I am saddened by the way my beloved baseball has turned out.
Anne May Pearre
At a minimum, Johnson deserved (as do all people) to be treated with honesty and respect -- like a human being. Johnson, however, deserved much more.
Angelos should have thanked Johnson for the wonderful job he did the last two years and should have extended his contract. Last year, Johnson was instrumental in the team's drive for the wild card. Had Johnson not gone with a four-man starting rotation, the Orioles may never have reached the playoffs. This ,, year, the Orioles were in first place wire-to-wire despite numerous injuries.
Johnson was rewarded by the sportswriters as Manager of the Year. Angelos rewarded him in a different way, forcing his resignation. Angelos says that this is in the best interest of the team. I don't see how that can be true.
Angelos doesn't understand
You just don't get it do you, Peter?
Try loving the game once. Try sitting in the cheap seats. Try to understand that in order to pass this beautiful game onto our children, they have to be able to see that the people who run it and play it love it, too.
I honestly thought you'd be a different owner, but you're just like most of the rest of the owners! You have made a mockery of one of baseball's most storied franchises, for the sake of your ego. Thanks a lot.
Perhaps Angelos should look toward Atlanta and Los Angeles to find examples of baseball franchises that have enjoyed long-term success without the owner's involvement in the day-to-day operations.
Carolyn A. Gehret
Johnson went back on word
Johnson's resignation was not nearly as important as sportswriters made it out to be.
Resigning shortly after he stated he was not a quitter and would not resign should make one cautious about accepting his side of this dispute at face value.
Most of information released in the press was attributed to either Johnson and his agent or to speculation by sportswriters, not from the Orioles' owner.
Both Johnson and the club are probably both better off that the matter is resolved. Let's move on.
John J. Whalen
Peter Angelos is putting together quite a record: Jon Miller last year, Davey Johnson this year. I guess Cal Ripken had better watch his back.
In Angelos' twisted mind, spitting on an umpire is an act worth defending, but fining a player and directing the funds to charity is unforgivable. I suddenly realize that the Eli Jacobs era wasn't so bad after all.
If Angelos really wanted to do what was best for the people of Baltimore, he would sell the Orioles to a sensible human being. Someone who could keep his ego in check would be nice.
John A. James C
An open letter to Peter Angelos:
Congratulations on besting a better man. Like most egomaniacs, your inner security is pathetic. I will resume supporting the Orioles when you sell the team.
... and good riddance
Davey Johnson is and always will be the best manager in baseball.
What Angelos did should be a crime. I gave up my season tickets and, I swear to God, I will never go to another Orioles game in my life.
Pub Date: 11/09/97