Sunday, September 05, 2004

Orioles, Giants not interested in sharing wealth

By Mark Gonzales
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 5, 2004 12:00 AM

Baseball is experiencing its own turf wars and it will eventually expand past the Washington, D.C., area.

Sure, the Montreal Expos seem like a great fit to move to the nation's capital. They can stay in the National League East without causing any geographical discomfort. The placement of an NL team would give fans in that area a chance to watch baseball in person when the Baltimore Orioles are out of town - a great perk for people in a two-team market.

But such a move isn't that easy. There is a delay in making a decision that once seemed certain by the All-Star break.

Baltimore and owner Peter Angelos still lurk 40 miles to the north, and Angelos is concerned about the long-term viability of his once-storied franchise if the Expos move to the D.C. area.

Perhaps if the Orioles had retooled their roster more carefully during the late 1990s, they wouldn't be looking at a possible seventh consecutive fourth-place finish in the AL East and wouldn't feel as threatened by a move by the Expos.

One possible resolution would be to allow the Expos to move to D.C. and give Angelos the Expos' national television money for a few years (the Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay surrendered those funds for five years when they began play in 1998). And if that money can't help the Orioles change their losing ways, then it should be time for Angelos to sell the team.

Meanwhile, Oakland is examining the Expos developments closely, although Commissioner Bud Selig has often said the A's shouldn't view this as a stepping stone for the A's to move to San Jose.

Read the entire article here on the Arizona Republic website.