Angelos says he's excited like fan O's owner: 'Season looks very promising'

March 19, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Team owner Peter Angelos said yesterday he's like a lot of Orioles fans: excited, with lots of expectations for the 1996 season.

"I'm along with hundreds and hundreds of Orioles fans," he said, "all looking forward to the season, seeing the improvements that have been made on this club. . . . I think the season looks very promising."

Angelos, who will participate in the owners meetings that begin in Phoenix today, had strong praise for new general manager Pat Gillick. "The job that Pat and [manager] Davey Johnson and [assistant GM] Kevin Malone and [farm director] Syd Thrift have done has been absolutely first-rate. It's a pleasure to have such an experienced and dynamic leadership group."

Gillick, he said, has been putting together a contender for this season, and simultaneously improving an aging club for the future; the deal for 25-year-old Tony Tarasco last week being one example of this.

"Pat is a first-rate GM who has the proven ability to build a winner now and for the future," Angelos said.

Angelos said he has liked what he has seen and heard of Johnson, as well. "Davey is terrific," he said. "Win or lose, he's brought a certain dimension to this club that was sorely missing previously, and that's not to denigrate the people who managed before him. It's just that Davey has something that a whole lot of others don't have. He's a winner."

He and Gillick have been getting along "great," Angelos said. "I don't have that much contact with him. He's been doing what he's been doing, and I'm doing what I'm doing. Everybody is happy doing their job. I hope that I'm a good lawyer, and Pat certainly is a good baseball man."

The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, three of the top AL contenders, "have improved themselves," Angelos said. "The Indians added Jack McDowell and Julio Franco, and they already had a good team. This American League race is going to be more exciting than any in the past 10 to 15 years."

Angelos says the owners will discuss revenue sharing and the labor agreement at this week's meeting. Randy Levine, the owners' new negotiator, "has been working very hard, and I know the owners are trying hard to come up with a fair and equitable labor agreement."

He thinks the owners could hammer out some sort of revenue-sharing plan. "I think that should be addressed," he said. "We've got to help our sister franchises. We need to help each other to guarantee stability in baseball.

"In other words, no more work stoppages, no more battles between players and owners. . . . That's a history that never should be repeated."

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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