<
>

Manager suggests Orioles move to NL

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli offered an
interesting solution to the team's concern about losing revenue if
the Montreal Expos move to Washington.

"Switch leagues," he said Sunday, suggesting that Baltimore
join the National League and the Washington team move to the
American League.

"Milwaukee did it. It's something to think about," Mazzilli
said. "There would be rivalries with the Phillies, Pirates,
Giants. It's very intriguing."

Of course, that would mean the Orioles wouldn't play at home on
a regular basis against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox,
their two biggest draws.

An announcement on the fate of the Expos could come this week.
Baltimore owner Peter Angelos is steadfastly against the team's
move to Washington, saying both teams could not be competitive if
located so close to each other.

Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson figures
Washington will get a team -- and believes Baltimore can cope with
the competition by continuing its upward swing.

"They've waited long enough," Robinson said of Washington's
baseball fans. "It's going to happen. The Orioles just have to put
a winning product on the field and they're going to draw a lot of
people."

Former Baltimore infielder Cal Ripken, who attended a pregame
ceremony honoring the fans' 50 favorite Orioles, said: "I know and
understand Mr. Angelos' position and I believe that major league
baseball is trying to work with him to make sure the Orioles are
whole. But I really don't know enough of the specifics to
understand the impact it would have on the Orioles."

The original Baltimore Orioles played in the National League
from 1882 to 1899. The present franchise was the Milwaukee Brewers in
1901, moved to St. Louis the following year and became the
Baltimore Orioles in 1954.