Angelos: Oates will return if players do

August 12, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Johnny Oates has one fewer thing to worry about during the players strike that transformed from inevitable to real late last night.

Oates still will be the Orioles manager if play resumes after the strike this season, owner Peter Angelos assured Oates yesterday morning in an hourlong meeting at the warehouse.

Angelos had considered the possibility of replacing Oates with first base coach Davey Lopes if an organizational meeting during the last homestand regarding Leo Gomez's playing time had not played out to Angelos' satisfaction.

Angelos also was considering the possibility of replacing Oates with Lopes at the end of the strike, but he scotched those plans in the wake of the Orioles' recent surge and yesterday's one-on-one meeting.

"Obviously, he was very interested in knowing what his status is," Angelos said before last night's game. "He's the manager and there is no intention to terminate him. Should there be a strike and a resumption of the season, he would continue to be the manager."

Oates had little to say about the meeting.

"We just talked," Oates said. "We just met and talked about where we are and where we want to go. He and I have talked a lot by phone and we thought it would be a good time to do it in person."

Oates is under contract through next season, but his job security has been an issue almost since he signed his contract extension last Oct. 22.

The relationship between Angelos and Oates has been so strained that at one point Angelos wrote Oates a letter of apology for critical remarks he made about the manager in a published report.

"There have been some differences," Angelos said. "Generally, there have been some improvements."

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