Weaver Reportedly Set to Return Today as Manager of Orioles
Edward Bennett Williams, one of the most persuasive barristers in America, finally has talked Earl Weaver into coming back to manage his Baltimore Orioles, UPI has learned.
Announcement of Weaver’s appointment most likely will come today in Baltimore when the Orioles return home from a series against the Tigers.
In finally agreeing to return to the job he gave up at the end of the 1982 season, Weaver replaces Joe Altobelli, the man who replaced him and led the Orioles to a world championship in 1983.
Williams, the Oriole owner and one of the foremost trial lawyers in the country, had to call on all his eloquence to lure the 54-year-old Weaver out of retirement. Weaver preferred to come back to the club as a consultant, but an estimated $1.5 million salary over three years changed his mind.
Weaver met with Williams in Washington Wednesday, then went to Baltimore to visit his daughter. That makes it convenient for the Orioles to introduce him there as their new manager.
Weaver guided them to four pennants and one world championship. His successor, Altobelli, took the team to the World Series championship in 1983, but the club, plagued by poor hitting, the club fell to fifth place and finished 19 games back in the American League last season.
Williams was disgruntled and disappointed over the downward slide of his team.
This year, the Orioles jumped in front with an impressive 18-9 start, but trailed the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays by seven games and had lost six of their last 10 games and four in a row going into Wednesday night’s game against the Tigers.
Without pinpointing Altobelli, Williams has said the Orioles are about to make personnel changes.
“Never again will I make the same mistake I made last year,” Williams has said. “I became too complacent and that’s the worst thing anyone can do.”
Williams has always been one of Weaver’s biggest boosters. He even gave Weaver a job as a scout with the Orioles after Weaver quit managing them, but that contract had to be terminated because of a possible conflict of interest when Weaver went to work as a color commentator for ABC.
Weaver has been sounded out by the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers about managing jobs in the past few months, but he turned down those offers.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to go back to managing yet,” he had said Tuesday. “I might accept some job as consultant but I don’t think I want to manage again. Not yet, anyway.”