Baltimore Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams, saying a decision might be more than a month away, denied reports that he has decided to hire Frank Robinson as the team's next general manager.

In an interview with The Baltimore Evening Sun, Williams said the process of replacing Hank Peters might take "quite a while."

Several sources have said Williams appears to already have made up his mind to hire Robinson, currently a coach with the team. Robinson said he has talked to Williams about the job.

"I'm going about this in a very orderly fashion," Williams said. "I'm not delaying, but I'm not going to make any mistakes. It's going to take quite a while. I said earlier it could be {decided} at the end of the month. But it might take longer than that."

Williams fired Peters and farm director Tom Giordano on Oct. 4, saying he planned to reorganize the club's front office. The Orioles finished the season 67-95, worst in their 33 years in the AL and the third-worst record in the majors in 1987. They were fifth in the six-team American League East.

Baseball and team sources have said, along with naming Robinson general manager, Williams plans to name Doug Melvin farm director,

On the day he fired Peters, Williams indicated that Manager Cal Ripken Sr. would return for another season. However, Williams told The Evening Sun that he has not decided on whether Ripken and the coaching staff will be retained.

"I talked with him briefly; that was all," Ripken said. "We haven't had any meetings."

"We've had some conversations about some things," Williams said. "I haven't come to any decisions on anything yet."