- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 12, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Despite more than four months of unsuccessful negotiations, Major League Baseball remains hopeful a financial protection deal can be reached soon with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos to ease his objections over the Montreal Expos’ relocation to Washington.

MLB president Bob DuPuy said yesterday he “hopes we are getting close to a conceptual understanding. Recent discussions have been productive.”

DuPuy and Angelos met Tuesday to discuss a package believed to include guarantees to the Orioles’ annual local revenue, future resale value and a majority stake in a new regional sports television network that would include the Orioles and Washington Nationals.

Further meetings between the two are likely in the coming days, but DuPuy said the impending arrival of pitchers and catchers to spring camps would not provide any additional pressure to make a deal.

“Spring training [is] less impetus than just plain passage of time,” he said.

The lack of an accord, however, has slowed considerably efforts to both sell the Nationals and establish any local TV distribution for the club.

Angelos was not available for comment.

Eric Fisher

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