Owner a welcome sight to players and Perlozzo

March 19, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Miguel Tejada was hanging out with family and friends outside the Orioles' clubhouse after yesterday's game when he saw team owner Peter Angelos walking toward him.

Tejada immediately set a bag down that he was carrying, took off his sunglasses and greeted Angelos with a handshake and half hug. The two exchanged pleasantries before the All-Star shortstop introduced the owner to his wife, Alesandra, and his family and friends.

At her husband's request, Alesandra dug out a camera from her purse and snapped pictures as Angelos and Tejada stood side-by-side for several minutes, the arm of the 30-year-old shortstop around the shoulder of the team's 77-year-old owner.

"I would love to see him more," said Tejada, who had met Angelos once before, after the shortstop won the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award in 2005. Tejada still has the picture of the two together. "It's good for all of us. When we see the boss is here, it doesn't mean that we have to play a different game, but we want to show him that we really want to win and we care about this game. At the same time, we are more excited because we feel like he really cares."

Angelos made a rare visit to Fort Lauderdale Stadium, meeting with team officials, talking to reporters and taking in the Orioles' 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He sat in the front row next to the Orioles' dugout, behind Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo and several of the coaches.

He did not visit the clubhouse, but he did speak with Perlozzo before and after the game and shake hands with second baseman Brian Roberts, who would have been traded in December had Angelos not vetoed a deal with the Atlanta Braves.

Before yesterday, Tejada and third baseman Melvin Mora, who met Angelos face-to-face during negotiations on a contract extension last year, were the only Orioles believed to have met Angelos, who has not been in the Orioles clubhouse for several seasons.

"Everybody has their own way of going about their business," Roberts said. "Ever since I've been here, that's been his way. I don't know that there is a right or wrong way. It's up to him."

Though he is often criticized for being too meddling in the club's everyday affairs, Angelos, unlike more visible owners like the Los Angeles Angels' Arte Moreno and the Florida Marlins' Jeffrey Loria, said he has no place in the clubhouse.

"They are all pros, so I will save my speeches for another forum," said Angelos, who is planning to be in town for a couple of days. "But I probably ought to stop by and say hello to some of the players who have recently been extended as well as the rest of them. I will probably do that before I leave."

Perlozzo expressed hope Angelos will be a more regular visitor.

"I think that is a great sign for us that he takes an interest," said Perlozzo, who speaks to the owner regularly. "I'd like to see him around a little more often to meet some of the guys, but he is a busy man. We're just happy that he was able to come today."

Even though Angelos was seated with his family a few yards from the home team's on-deck circle, there were some Orioles who didn't know he was in attendance. Outfielder Nick Markakis didn't notice him, saying later, "I'm sure I'll meet him at some point."

When told Angelos was at the team's complex, Mora said: "Where? I didn't see him. If I see him, I'll grab him and bring him in here."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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