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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: THE A.L.'S FREE-BIRDS
Published March 30, 1995
After a meeting with AL General Counsel Bill Schweitzer, Orioles Owner Peter Angelos said he believes the league will keep intact Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak even if replacement players are used. Angelos told Schweitzer his team has no intention of using replacement players and that he feels it would be "illegal" for the owners to lock out the players. An "intriguing possibility" exists if owners do lock out their players and the Orioles permit their players to return and play against replacements. Angelos would not comment on that, but sources said it was a "distinct possibility" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/30). If the owners go with replacements, AL President Gene Budig "basically has three options" for the Orioles: forfeit the team's games and victories to opposing teams; charge forfeits but not award the victories; remove the O's from the schedule until the strike is resolved. Budig could also pursue "punitive action" against Angelos, but that could be "a potential public relations disaster" (Buster Olney, Baltimore SUN, 3/30). PETER'S PRINCIPLES: Angelos was interviewed on ABC's "World News Tonight" by Tim McCarver, and later on CNN. Angelos, on replacement ball: "It's bad public relations for baseball, I think it destroys the legitimacy of the collective bargaining process." Angelos, on the possibility that the AL may take control of the Orioles: "I don't think anybody's taking over the Orioles. They may say they are, but I say that they're not. ... With the Ripken situation, I was clearly going to refuse to become involved with any kind of process which would threaten or disrupt his streak." Angelos said that if he was in charge, he would have turned over financial records to justify claims of fiscal pain: "You can't just say to the other side, 'Listen, we have a problem, we have a financial problem, and accordingly, we want you to cut your salaries by 20 percent,' and expect the other side to say, 'Okay, you said it, we believe it, here's 20 percent of our pay.' It doesn't work that way" (ABC, 3/29). CNN's Mark Morgan also profiled Angelos. Angelos said replacement players "will do violence to the integrity of the game" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 3/29).