Edward Bennett Williams, scheduled to become owner of the Baltimore Orioles this fall, met with current owner Jerold C. Hoffberger tonight and said no decisions were made on the possibility of playing some games in Washington next year.
Williams, who saw his first Oriole game of the season at Memorial Stadium tonight, said he planned to talk with Hoffberger and General Manager Hank Peters "continually about a number of different subjects" before announcing any decisions affecting the club he bought for $12 million.
"One of the things I am most anxious to get is (Hoffberger's) agreement to remain as president" of the club when Williams takes the reins Nov. 1.
"Jerry and I didn't have the in-depth discussion we had hoped to have because of the turmoil and turbulence today," Williams said, referring to a story in Wednesday's Washington Post.
The story quoted sources close to Williams as saying he is leaning toward playing some key series at RFK Stadium next season and bringing the Orioles to Washington within three years. Williams was quoted in the story as denying the reports.
Tonight he branded the story the "nadir of irresponsible journalism...totally and absolutely without foundation."
"At no time have I discussed with anyone playing any games in Washington at any time," Williams said. "The story was wrong. W-R-O-N-G, and I said so yesterday.
"Last Thursday (at the press conference announcing the sale), I said what I meant from my heart. I didn't talk from a prepared script. I stated what my intentions were quite intelligibly so everyone could understand.
"I don't think it's unreasonable to ask people to believe what you say."
At the press conference, Williams said he intended to keep the Orioles in Baltimore "so long as the city supports the team." He would not define support in attendance terms then or tonight when asked.
The conditional phrase about support has prompted widespread speculation on the Orioles' possible future in Washington. But, Williams said tonight, "I didn't use any ambiguous or ambivalent terms" when expressing his intentions toward Baltimore last week.
With Mayor William D. Schaefer present on the city's 25th birthday, Williams praised the Baltimore fans as being "magnificent, magnificent...a thrill to see."
Asked if this year's attendance, which went over the 1 million mark Tuesday, showed support sufficient enough to keep the team in Baltimore, Williams replied, "Obviously."