Orioles not on owners' agenda

March 07, 1995|By Buster Olney

Now that the labor talks have broken down, it appears more and more likely that replacement players will be in uniform on Opening Day.

So what happens with the Orioles, who have declined to field a replacement team?

The issue could come up at the owners meetings that begin today in Palm Beach, Fla., although Phyllis Merhige, vice president of media affairs for the American League, said yesterday there are no plans to discuss the fate of the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos.

"What we've said is we are exploring our options," said Merhige. "All we've said publicly is that we expect Mr. Angelos to field a team. . . . I don't think there would be [a resolution] until much closer to Opening Day. There's no reason to announce anything ahead of time."

A source on the powerful Baseball Operations Committee indicated earlier this week that Major League Baseball basically has two options: Field a team of replacement players to play in place of the Orioles at an alternative site, or order the club to forfeit each game it declines to play.

Last night, Angelos declined to speculate on his reaction to either action. He said there had been no negotiations for a compromise between the Orioles and the league.

The Orioles' refusal to field replacement players isn't on the written agenda for either the gathering of the 28 owners, or the AL owners.

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