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Resignation, Acceptance Letters
Nov. 5, 1997

Letter of resignation sent by former Baltimore Orioles' manager Davey Johnson to team owner Peter Angelos:

Dear Peter:
Since I have been unable to contact you by telephone, I am writing to let you know that Susan and I will be out of town for the next two weeks on a vacation planned long ago.

Despite our differences, I hope you realize the depth of my commitment to the Baltimore Orioles and the City of Baltimore. While I believe that your position relative to the Alomar fine and Carson Scholars Fund is intended more for public relations than true disapproval, I nonetheless respect the fact that you were not apprised of my desire to direct the Alomar fine to the Carson Scholars.

As I would hope you realize, the only reason which I, as manager of the Club, issue fines to players for failure to conform to Club rules and policies is for the ultimate benefit of you, as an owner. It has always been my belief that players must respect the authority of the manager and ownership and recognize that, regardless of their status as a player, their behavior must comport with certain standards.

While I do not believe that there was any conflict of interest or impropriety in requesting the fine proceeds be directed to a charity with which my wife was involved, I recognize in retrospect that such direction could create the appearance of impropriety and that the better practice would dictate leaving decisions related to directing such funds to you as Chief Executive Officer of the Orioles.

Notwithstanding our differences related to this issue, I must say that your indifference to the work I have performed over the last two years in guiding the Orioles to the playoffs and in delivering a wire-to-wire Division Championship is discouraging, to say the least. Your apparent lack of regard for my management skills and for me as a person is reflected in your statements to the press and the front office staff that my status as manager is "under review.''

My only wish is to help you and the other owners do what is best for the Baltimore Orioles and the City of Baltimore. If, in your judgment, the best course of action for the Orioles is to replace me as manager, then I would be willing to offer my resignation and forfeit my entitlement to compensation pursuant to the terms of my contract in 1998, provided you accept my resignation today so as to allow me to pursue other opportunities. In return, I ask that my outstanding expenses be paid in a timely fashion together with your commitment to not block the efforts of any other Clubs who might have an interest in my services as a field manager.

The uncertainty related to my status, coupled with the intense media interest has been difficult for me and my family. Although I can appreciate that you have many important matters which occupy your time and attention, I do feel that I am entitled to be treated with a modicum of respect and that this matter should be resolved promptly.

Please let me know by day's end whether you wish to accept my offer of resignation. If not for my interest, then for the Club and the fans, it's time to put this matter to bed.

Very truly yours,
David A. Johnson.

P.S. Susan and I will be leaving at approximately 3 p.m. After that time, please feel free to leave word for me with Skip Dalton. Thanks.

 Text of letter from Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos accepting the resignation of former manager Davey Johnson:

Dear Davey:
In my considered judgment, it would clearly be in the best interests of the Orioles' organization for a change of field manager for 1998. Therefore, I accept your letter of resignation, faxed to me today, and the conditions therein set forth in which you offer your immediate resignation and offer to forfeit any compensation, pursuant to the terms of your contract, for 1998.

In doing so, you request payment of outstanding expenses in a timely fashion and my commitment not to "block the efforts of any Clubs who might have an interest in [your] services as a field manager.'' All of the conditions in your fax are, accordingly, agreeable and accepted by the Orioles. You are absolutely free to pursue any baseball position as a field manager, or otherwise, with any team in either League.

Regretfully, your letter fails to recognize the real issue posed by your imposition and handling of the Alomar fine and your divisive statement to the press in July that unless the Orioles got to the World Series, you would not be permitted to return for the final year of your contract. Such a statement, during a pennant drive, was ill-advised and potentially a harmful distraction. Your own actions and conduct not mine have produced the fulfillment of your prophecy.

I absolutely reject your contention that my strongly held objection to your directing the Alomar fine be paid to a charity by which your wife is employed was intended "more for public relations than mere disapproval.'' I can assure you that my disapproval is deeply felt and consistent with what I insist be appropriate conduct on the part of all Orioles' employees. It strikes me, as field manager, you should have been much more sensitive to such situations and to have avoided even what you concede "could create the appearance of impropriety.''

While this is a regrettable ending of our relationship, I wish you the best in the future.

Very truly yours,
Peter Angelos

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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