Edward Bennett Williams, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, said last night that he "wouldn't dignify with comment" the hiring by the Player Relations Committee of a law firm to investigate owners who might have violated the owners' gag rule during the strike.
This spring, Harry Dalton, general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, was fined $50,000 under the PRC's gag rule. Williams, George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees and Eddie Chiles of the Texas Rangers are believed to be among those most prominent in the PRC's investigation.
"You would think that this would be a time for healing, not opening old wounds," remarked Williams, a leader among moderate owners who were less than enthusiastic about the PRC's hard-line bargaining tactics.
Hank Peters, general manager of the Orioles, confirmed the PRC investigation, saying: "We know that the PRC has given a number of newspaper clippings to an independent law firm. I would say that it doesn't amount to anything now and won't amount to anything.
"It would seem to be an odd time to do something like this, although I suppose some people might say that this was a natural aftermath of the settlement," added Peters, apparently refering to the feuds and bad blood within ownership's frequently divided house.
Neither Williams nor Peters would confirm that the Orioles' owner was one of those who could conceivably be called before a hearing and fined.