New round of meetings on Expos

Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2004

NEW YORK - Still deliberating on where to move the Montreal Expos, members of baseball's relocation committee scheduled a new round of meetings this week.

Committee members plan to meet with officials of Northern Virginia today and the District of Columbia on Wednesday.

Baseball officials hope commissioner Bud Selig will make a decision by the end of the regular season, on Oct. 3. If he doesn't make his selection by then, the process probably will be delayed until after the World Series ends in the last week of October.

If a decision isn't made until November and a Washington-area group is selected, the delay would complicate plans to renovate Washington's RFK Stadium, where the Expos would play for several seasons until a new ballpark is constructed.

Also in the bidding are Las Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk, Va.; and Portland, Ore. While baseball hasn't officially eliminated them from contention, the relocation committee has focused on the two Washington-area groups.

Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos has opposed having a team move to either downtown Washington, which is 40 miles from Camden Yards, or the site proposed by Northern Virginia, near Dulles International Airport, about 60 miles from Baltimore's ballpark.

Selig says he wants to be careful not to hurt the Orioles. Angelos says a team in the Washington area would cut into his team's fan base, but others have disputed the percentage of Baltimore's revenue that comes from the Washington market.

Chad Bentz, a 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, spent four months as a rookie left-handed relief pitcher with the Expos this season. Bentz eventually was sent back to the minors to work on developing a slider and he ended his season on the disabled list with foot and shoulder problems.

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