- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy will return to Baltimore today to meet with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, seeking to strike a long-awaited compensation deal.

Negotiations to provide Angelos with financial protection from the arrival of the Washington Nationals slowed to a halt last month as the D.C. Council conducted a roller-coaster review of legislation to build a stadium near the Anacostia River waterfront.

With the funding for the District ballpark finally approved, the Angelos matter again assumes front-burner status. Talks in October and November centered on giving Angelos an unprecedented package of benefits that included guarantees of annual local revenue and future resale value for the team, as well as a majority stake in a new regional sports television network.

However, it remains to be seen how long the benefits will last and what measures, if any, will be created to ensure competitive impetus for Angelos.

Industry sources said several MLB executives and owners are growing impatient to have the issue resolved. Without a deal with Angelos in place, MLB has been unable to establish local TV distribution for the Nationals or proceed with plans to sell the franchise.

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has suggested Angelos will sue without a deal in place — comments the Orioles owner has not denied.

Eric Fisher

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