Independent Angelos says meeting with Fehr a help

September 27, 1994|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writer

Orioles owner Peter Angelos, whose outspokenness during the players strike has rankled some of his fellow team owners, said yesterday that his private meeting in a Little Italy restaurant Saturday with players union chief Donald Fehr was set up without the knowledge of major-league officials.

And he wasn't apologizing for the omission.

"I don't believe I need to advise anyone of my meetings with any other party," Angelos said. "As a courtesy, maybe. But I felt my presence at a meeting with Don Fehr not only could benefit the Orioles but potentially could be helpful to the interests of all the franchises.

"I was strictly representing the Orioles, and had no charter to represent the major leagues," said the owner, who is believed to be the first owner to meet with union officials without the blessing of acting commissioner Bud Selig.

Angelos' meeting with Fehr could be the first step toward what the Orioles owner apparently sees as a more active role in the negotiations. To this point, he has been largely left out of those talks, in part because he has not fully backed the owners' proposal for a salary cap.

Angelos wouldn't say what he and Fehr discussed during their meal, but he called the meeting "very friendly" and hinted that it might lead to more sessions and perhaps even contribute to ending the strike that already has canceled hundreds of games, including the 1994 World Series.

"I believe future events will demonstrate this was a very constructive meeting," Angelos said.

Neither Fehr nor Selig returned phone calls yesterday.

Angelos declined to talk about specific issues that came up during the talks, citing an agreement with Fehr not to disclose them. But he repeated what he has said frequently during the 6-week-old strike -- that the solution lies in getting owners and players together more often to talk about their differences.

"It would be helpful if Don Fehr and his associates had personal contact on a periodic basis with every owner in the major leagues, both American and National," Angelos said. "There's no reason to see each other only when the two sides are at war. We need to know each other, collaborate with each other. That's what leads to the resolution of disputes.

"What I was doing is what all owners should do."

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