Angelos pitches proposal to Selig

October 06, 1994|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer

Orioles owner Peter Angelos headed for Los Angeles yesterday, apparently to continue his quest for an NFL franchise, but he stopped in Milwaukee to pitch his alternative revenue-sharing plan to acting baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Angelos, club counsel George Stamos and attorney/agent Ron Shapiro met with Selig, presumably in an attempt to bring Angelos back into the management mainstream and give him a chance to sell his joint revenue-sharing proposal to his fellow owners.

If he succeeds, the proposal might provide the basis for the resumption of collective bargaining talks and a possible compromise in baseball's marathon labor dispute.

"It was a very interesting meeting," Selig said. "I would regard it as a constructive day. He came here and expressed his opinions to me and I expressed mine to him."

The proposal calls for the players to contribute 3 percent of their earnings into a revenue pool to help subsidize struggling small-market teams. The players' contribution, combined with the revenue-sharing plan approved by the owners earlier this year, could raise as much as $100 million per year to bail out failing clubs and pay for revenue-enhancing projects such as stadium construction and renovation.

"I've encouraged all of the clubs to come up with ideas," Selig said. "His will be examined and analyzed like everybody else's."

It already has one major advantage over any other ownership concept. It apparently has piqued the interest of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Angelos first made the proposal to union director Donald Fehr at a luncheon meeting in Baltimore two weeks ago.

Union officials have not said they would accept such a plan, but MLBPA associate general counsel Gene Orza called it a "well-intentioned effort" that was worth pursuing.

Angelos is pursuing it, but he first must overcome his reputation as a renegade who is not interested in playing ball with his fellow owners. The unsanctioned meeting with Fehr rankled many of the ownership hard-liners and put the proposal in danger before it got off the ground, but the meeting with Selig yesterday apparently went a long way toward clearing the air.

"I think at the very least it did that," Selig said. "I think we did more than that. He had some interesting thoughts and I had some, too."

The presence of Shapiro is more evidence that the meeting may have a significant impact on the labor situation. Shapiro has been working behind the scenes for weeks, trying to help the players and owners find some common ground. He is not a disinterested party, but he has maintained close ties with high-ranking officials on both sides of the labor dispute.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.