SBD/24/Franchises

AS BASEBALL RETURNS, WILL THERE BE A PAYBACK FOR PETER?

     In a front page piece in Sunday's Baltimore SUN, Brad Snyder
& Mark Hyman examine "whether Peter Angelos' fellow baseball
owners will try to punish him."  While potential problems such as
other teams' reluctance to trade with the Orioles are noted, the
most damage MLB owners could inflict would be rewarding an NL
expansion team to the DC Metro area.  Brewers Senior VP Sal
Bando:  "If I am in the American League and he has caused this
problem, I'm going to make it hard on him because he made it hard
on us."  Former MLBPA head Marvin Miller agreed that Angelos will
face problems from other owners.  Miller: "They are going to give
him something to worry about. ... Eventually they will have a
tool with which to punish him."  While Angelos claims "his
investment is relatively insulated" from an expansion to the DC
area, where the team draws 25% of its season ticket base, former
MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent disagrees.  Vincent: "If they put a
team in Washington, the value of his franchise is hurt very
badly, and it would be very hard for him to do much about it
legally because all the Washington powers are going to want a
team.  He would have very little recourse."  The Phillies' Bill
Giles and the Yankees' George Steinbrenner, themselves past
outcasts, predict Angelos will learn "how to play the ownership
game," but Angelos disagrees.  Angelos: "I did not buy the
Orioles to become a member of baseball's inner circle" (Baltimore
SUN, 4/23).
     WHAT ABOUT FOOTBALL?:  In a sidebar, the SUN's Jon Morgan
asks, "If Peter Angelos has made enemies among his baseball
partners, how is he likely to be received by the National
Football League?"  Angelos, leading Baltimore's drive to land an
NFL team, has offered to purchase a full or minority share of any
team interested in moving to Baltimore.  However, some "worry"
that the "conservative" NFL "may find his style too abrasive and
look for an excuse to keep him out."  NFL Cardinals General
Counsel Thomas Guilfoil:  "Certainly the owners want someone who
would be a compatible partner and would not have the appearance
of going out on their own."  However, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones
says, "I'm very interested in getting people such as Mr. Angelos
involved in the NFL" (Baltimore SUN, 4/23).
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