A panel of Major League Baseball owners met for three hours in Commissioner Bud Selig's office here Thursday to discuss the fate of the financially troubled Montreal Expos and the franchise's possible move to Washington.
No recommendations were made and no vote was taken by baseball's eight-member executive council, said Robert A. DuPuy, president of Major League Baseball. The league is committed to moving the Expos to a new location by April.
Three members of the relocation committee presented the results of the past six months of study.
The baseball executives discussed each of the cities vying to adopt the Expos and ruled out none of them at the meeting, said DuPuy, who offered no clues about Washington's prospects. He said the league is mindful of the District's desire to have a decision by the end of the year.
"I think we're all running out of time and we realize that. I'd like to think everybody is on the same wavelength with regard to time schedule," DuPuy said. "I think we're talking about a very short window of opportunity continue to negotiate."
Nonetheless, he added, "Everybody wants to insure that all of the opportunities have been explored and that all of the ramifications of the decision have been considered."
Peter G. Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, presented the committee his arguments against moving the Expos to the Washington area. Angelos, who is also a member of the executive council, has said that having a team in the District would steal fans and profits from his team. He has so far rebuffed overtures by the league about possible compensation for moving another team within 35 miles of Baltimore, one baseball official said Wednesday.
DuPuy said there was no discussion at the meeting about potential compensation for Angelos if the District were to be awarded the team.
Asked whether the Orioles' owner said anything new in his presentation Thursday, DuPuy answered curtly, "No."
DuPuy said there are "some loose ends that need to get tied up" before the owners make any final decision. He said the league would keep pushing to resolve the issue by the end of the regular season, but he declined an opportunity to say there is momentum toward consensus. Questioned about that by a reporter, he replied, "I think there's momentum toward getting to a conclusion."
DuPuy said the work of the relocation committee is largely done. No date has been set for a meeting or, more likely, a decisive conference call among team owners.
"The matter is in the hands of the commission and executive council of the clubs," said DuPuy, who reported the relocation committee expressed no preference. "That's not the way Commissioner Selig works. He likes to have a full and complete examination of each of the issues an each of the candidates. That was what he asked us to provide and that's what we provided."
But there was a sense among some of the owners that they would like to have a decision soon. On his way into the meeting, Kansas City Royals owner David Glass said, "I would hope we get something decided. It's been hanging a long time."
But Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane said he wasn't sure what to expect.
"We've got to see what all the facts are," McLane said. "Baseball is not always the swiftest at making decisions."